Board to consider raise to living wage for full-, part-time staff and work-studies

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Linda Boyer-Owens, vice chancellor of human resources and organizational development, talks with the board of trustees about raising wages for full-time staff, part-time staff and work-study students March 5 in Killen. Amaru Ruiz

If approved, the change will become effective Sept. 1.

By Sergio Medina

The board of trustees will consider increasing the living wage for full-, part-time staff and work-study students at the regular March board meeting.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. March 19 at the Killen Center, 204 W. Sheridan St.

If approved, the change would increase wages to $15 an hour for full-time staff, and $12.50 for part-time staff and work-study students.

In an interview after the meeting, Linda Boyer-Owens, associate vice chancellor of human resources and organizational development, said the wage increase would only be applicable to staff, not faculty.

The adjustment would become effective Sept. 1.

The recommendation came during the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee meeting March 5 at Killen.

“We want to get to that $15 an hour mark — something we’ve been, sort of, committed to and striving for since early 2015,” she said to the board.

The last wage increase occurred 2015.

Currently, the wage is $11.50 an hour for full-time staff; $10 for part-time and $9 an hour for work-study students.

Entry-level employees hired fiscal year 2020-21 will start at $14.70, which would be increased to $15 after one year of employment with the Alamo Colleges.

“So that we build a slight gap between existing staff and new employees that first year so that we avoid some sense of compression between those employees,” Boyer-Owens said.

Per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the poverty guideline for a household of four is $25,750, which translates to a wage of $12.38 an hour.

The adjustment would affect 146 full-time staff, 420 part-time staff and 739 work-study students throughout the district.

In total, the district employs about 2,400 employees.

The adjustment has an impact of $913,812.

“(It is) Strictly out of our budget — our operating budget for labor,” Boyer-Owens said.

Further, work-study students will be covered by federal and state work-study funds, she said.

Dr. Harold Whitis, district director of student financial services, said March 8 colleges participating in federal college work-study programs are required to match annual allocations with 25 percent of institutional funds.

“It is a federal requirement that all colleges must adhere to,” he said. “The only exception is that if a college is designated as a Title 3 or Title 5 institution, that the (U.S.) Department of Education waives the matching requirement.”

Except for Northeast Lakeview College, all colleges in the district have their matching requirements waived.

“The Alamo Colleges does continue to set aside institutional funds each year to supplement the federal allocations, even though we are not required to,” Whitis said.

Boyer-Owens said work-study students should have parity with part-time staff to encourage persistence while in college.

Whitis said, “We recognize the importance of providing another source of funding to allow students a way to pay for college while obtaining skills at the same time.”


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