All Port Arthur ISD employees to receive raise for first time in 3 years

Published 12:46 am Saturday, July 30, 2022

For the first time in three years, all employees in the Port Arthur Independent School District will receive a raise.

Trustees approved the new salary comprehension during Thursday night’s regular meeting.

The increase is at least 3 percent for everyone.

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Superintendent Mark Porterie offered thanks to employees for sticking with the district, saying the last time there was a salary increase was during the 2019-2020 school year.

“When we talk about compensation, we normally talk about teachers,” he said during the meeting. “(This) compensation package is for everyone, all 1,300 employees — maintenance, child nutrition, teachers, administrators, transportation, everyone. With this compensation package, everyone will receive, if you vote on it, at least 3 percent across the board.”

An additional reason for the raises, especially in relation to teacher compensation, is competitiveness. A Texas Association of School Boards study compared PAISD with 20 other surrounding districts and showed PAISD was not competitive, Porterie said.

Porterie gave examples of the new figures.

A teacher with 10 years experience on the current salary scale would start the 2022-23 school year with a salary of $51,875. Under the new compensation plan, a teacher with 10 years will receive $55,200.

A 20-year veteran teacher under the current salary scale would receive $54,875. But with the new schedule they will receive $60,200. Thirty-year teachers will see an increase as well, moving from the $60,000 range to $65,200. And those with 31 or more years will receive the 3 percent plus $2,500 for a total increase of $4,200.

And new teachers with zero years experience will start at $51,500 annually.

Porterie said PAISD offers benefits to its employees, including retirement, workman’s compensation and health insurance; and are one of the few that pay into Social Security.

Jimmy Wyble, director of human resources, worked on the compensation plan, along with district leaders and Chief Financial Officer Denise Davis.

“This is a very bold, comprehensive plan. I believe the message is clear — we value our employees, we value the difference they’re making in the lives of our students, we value what they bring to the table and this is an exciting time for Port Arthur ISD,” Wyble said. “We had a lot of discussions and brainstorming and we believe this is a great plan and feel like our employees will be pleased. And we’re just really excited we’re able to do this for our employees.”

Board President Debra Ambroise is pleased with the plan to compensate employees, she said.

“They work so very hard. Obviously, I wish we could pay them more, but at this point this is the best that we can do based on what we have at our disposal,” Ambroise said. “And I’m just appreciative of what they do for us, what they’ve done for us. They’ve stood the test of time. I’m just thankful we’re able to give them something. Hopefully in the years to come we’ll continue to build on what we’ve already done.”