AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - A 10-percent pay raise for all Austin ISD employees is what Education Austin is pushing for ahead of next week's school board meeting instead of the proposed one-percent raise for teachers only that is currently in the proposed AISD budget.
Education Austin said they are pushing for this amount because of the state's focus on education this legislative session and also because of the increase for the cost of living in the area.
"We expect a 10% pay raise because we are worth it and that's our rallying cry. We are worth it," said Ken Zarifis, president of Education Austin, a teachers and employees’ union for the district.
Education Austin said they are not too happy with how raises are proposed in Austin ISD's budget. In the current proposed budget, there is one-percent raise for teachers. What Education Austin is pushing for is a 10-percent raise for all employees not just teachers.
"It's the largest pay raise that's been asked in our history. There has been no 10-percent pay raise asked or given in 20 years,” said Zarifis. "To think that one percent in a year where we will be getting $100 million would be less of a pay raise than when we had no dollars it's just inconsiderable.”
Zarifis said not only do they feel the raise for teachers is too low but he doesn't want the district to forget it takes more than teachers to run a school.
"It's a laughable proposal, one percent for teachers, when they stand to have a historic windfall of dollars coming this direction," said Zarifis. “It's an insult to teachers and all they do and a true insult to all employees that bus kids, feed them, that clean up the schools, we've got to bring everybody together and pay all of them.”
AISD released this statement in response to Education Austin’s request:
AISD is working diligently with staff, our board of trustees and Education Austin, the teachers and staff union, as we prepare our budget to provide the most strategic compensation using the dollars we have today.
Teachers and our staff make the difference and we hope we can count on Education Austin’s leadership at the capitol for meaningful school finance reform to bring much needed funding back into the district.
Ahead of the school board meeting next Monday, Education Austin plans to hold a rally pushing for this 10-percent raise.