After a monthslong campaign, Education Austin has reached an historic agreement on compensation through elected consultation with Austin ISD that will result in pay raises for all district employees.
Included in the agreement:
- 7% base pay increase for professional staff
- $4 base pay increase for all classified staff
- 25% increase to the district’s minimum wage, bringing it to $20 per hour
- $7,000 stipend for bilingual and special education teachers
- Improvements to the high school bilingual stipend structure, including making ASL and Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing teachers eligible to receive the stipend
- No increase to insurance costs
The raises for support staff were of particular concerns to our members in Austin. For many district support staff, the $4 per hour increase amounts to a 25% pay raise.
The agreement also includes a clause that will reopen negotiations should the funding increase provided to the district by the Texas Legislature exceed $20 million.
Notably, to pay for the plan, Austin ISD knowingly takes on an estimated $54 million budget deficit. District leaders have echoed calls from education organizations — including our union — for the Legislature to put more of its historic state budget toward public education.
Otherwise, the district likely will pursue similar strategies and cuts to those in San Antonio ISD, which, last month, passed its largest pay raise plan in 25 years.
Education Austin members have advocated loudly for these raises and stipends, made ever urgent by the skyrocketing cost of living in Austin itself. Their work started well before the district’s budgeting process began; last year, the local union successfully elected all five of its endorsed school board candidates, including five former teachers and three former union members.
That work is paying dividends now.
“We continue to show up and show that labor does exist in Texas and that the unions are strong,” said Ken Zarifis, president of Education Austin.