Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Finally! Some Good News!

After fourteen straight months of bad news for Dallas ISD employees, we finally got some good news today in a meeting with DISD Chief Financial Officer Larry Throm. Mr. Throm informed us today that he will propose that the District's support staff employees (maintenance workers, teacher assistants, clerical staff, community liasions, cafeteria workers, janitorial staff, etc)receive a 3% pay raise for 2009-2010!

This pay increase is long overdue for these vital employees of the DISD. After enduring hundreds of layoffs and not even a salary step increase in 2008-2009, these employees will finally get some reward for all of the hard work that they have continued to put forth on a daily basis.

Another bit of good news led to the funding being available for these raises. At the end of 2008-2009 DISD had over 500 Chapter 21 contract employees who had a contract for 2009-2010 but no assignment. DISD promised these employees their contracts would be honored even if the District was unable to place them in a new position by the start of school.

Throm budgeted for this year with that in mind. However, as of today, only 58 employees remain without an assignment. He feels that by the end of this school year, all will be back in assignments as vacancies occur in the DISD on a weekly basis.

The credit for placing this large number of employees falls squarely on the DISD Human Development Department. Former HD Chief Kim Olson and her staff have spent their summer making sure as many of these displaced employees have a place to call home for 2009-2010. Not only do these employees have a home, as a result, support staff will be getting a pay raise!

The State Legislature gave teachers and some other employees a raise based on the wieghted average daily attendance (WADA) plus a salary step earlier in the year. School districts across the state have hesitated in announcing their raises because they were waiting for the Department of Education to approve the use of federal stimulus money to pay for that raise.

Mr. Throm told us today he will also recommend to the Board that our teachers receive the salary step, an average of $850, plus the WADA calculation of $851 for a total of $1701. There are two salary steps that receive more than the $850 average. Those will receive their respective amounts plus the $851.

The starting teacher salary will also go up in Throm's proposal. Currently, teachers with 0 years of experience start out at $44,350. Mr. Throm will propose raising that to $45,350.

While there is still the question of how much, if any, of a raise teachers who were receiving longevity pay will get, the news we received today is very welcome!

I would like to thank Mr. Throm for working to find the money for these raises and for his honesty in his discussions with us. I would also like to thank Trustee Jerome Garza for pushing the Administration to get something done for our support employees.

The Board of Trustees will hear the details at this Thursday's Board Briefings and will vote on Mr. Throm's proposal August 24. Employees should see the raise in their September paychecks with the Board's approval.

Finally, some good news...

No comments: