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Chapter 3
PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

This chapter examines Fort Bend Independent School District's (FBISD's) personnel management and human resources functions in five sections:

A. Organization and Management
B. Recruiting and Hiring
C. Employment and Retention of Personnel
D. Salary Administration
E. Training and Staff Development

D. SALARY ADMINISTRATION

The Human Resources Department conducts salary surveys and participates in surveys conducted by other school districts. The department uses that information as well as data from other published sources to determine the competitiveness of FBISD's employee pay. The district maintains five salary schedules. The teacher salary schedule as shown in Exhibit 3-22 is based on 187 days of work.

Exhibit 3-22
FBISD Teacher Salary Schedule
1999-2000
Years of Experience Bachelor's
Degree
Master's
Degree
Ph.D.
Degree
187 Days 187 Days 187 Days
Beginning $31,500 $32,600 $33,700
1 Year $32,500 $33,600 $34,700
5 Years $34,076 $35,176 $36,276
10 Years $37,451 $38,551 $39,651
20 Years $43,674 $44,774 $45,874
30 Years $49,721 $51,083 $52,183
Source: FBISD Compensation Handbook 1999-2000.

The salary classification of paraprofessionals as shown in Exhibit 3-23 includes teacher aides, clerks and secretaries, and certain specialists such as Payroll and Benefits specialists. Most of the paraprofessionals are paid on a 226 day calendar. For example, a personnel clerk at pay grade 5 at the midpoint would be paid a daily rate of $92.04 for 226 days or $20,801 a year.

Exhibit 3-23
FBISD Paraprofessional Salary Ranges
1999-2000
Pay
Grade
Daily Rate
Minimum Midpoint Maximum
PG 1 $49.92 $60.88 $71.84
PG 2 $62.04 $75.66 $89.29
PG 3 $66.23 $80.77 $95.30
PG 4 $70.70 $86.22 $101.74
PG 5 $75.47 $92.04 $108.61
PG 6 $80.56 $98.25 $115.94
PG 7 $86.00 $105.72 $123.76
PG 8 $91.81 $111.96 $132.10
PG 9 $98.00 $119.51 $141.01
Source: FBISD Compensation Handbook 1999-2000.

The salary classification of administrator non-teaching/professional is shown in Exhibit 3-24.

Exhibit 3-24
FBISD Administrator Non-Teaching/Professional Salary Range
1999-2000
Pay
Grade
Daily Rate
Minimum Midpoint Maximum
PG 10 $121.42 $151.77 $182.11
PG 11 $134.77 $168.46 $202.16
PG 12 $149.59 $186.99 $224.39
PG 13 $166.05 $207.56 $249.06
PG 14 $188.92 $230.39 $271.86
PG 15 $209.70 $255.73 $301.76
PG 16 $232.77 $283.87 $334.96
PG 17 $270.97 $315.09 $359.20
PG 18 $300.78 $349.75 $398.71
PG 19 $359.56 $416.69 $473.81
Source: FBISD Compensation Handbook 1999-2000.

The salary classification of administrator non-teaching/professionals includes department managers and supervisors; certain specialists such as Child Nutrition field specialists and Insurance specialists; coordinator positions such as Grants coordinator and Public Education Information Management System coordinator; the chief of police; directors of administrative departments; and associate superintendents of Business, Community Relations, Facilities and Planning, Human Resources and Technology. Most of the positions in this classification are compensated based on a 226 day calendar. For example, a director at pay grade 16 at the midpoint would be paid a daily rate of $283.87 for 226 days, or $64,155 a year.

The salary classification of educator non-teaching professionals as shown in Exhibit 3-25 includes librarians, counselors, education coordinators, assistant principals, principals, department directors and area superintendents. The number of days compensated for staff in this salary classification range from 187 to 226. For example, a special education coordinator at pay grade 23 at the midpoint would be paid a daily rate of $243.81 for 210 days, or $51,200 a year. A middle school principal at pay grade 28 at the midpoint would be paid a daily rate of $321.68 for 226 days or $72,700 a year.

Exhibit 3-25
FBISD Educator Non-Teaching/Professional Salary Range
1999-2000
Pay
Grade
Daily Rate
Minimum Midpoint Maximum
PG 20 $168.15 $206.45 $247.75
PG 21 $174.59 $218.23 $261.87
PG 22 $186.83 $230.66 $274.48
PG 23 $197.48 $243.81 $290.13
PG 24 $213.90 $257.71 $301.52
PG 25 $226.09 $272.39 $318.70
PG 26 $238.97 $287.93 $336.87
PG 27 $252.60 $304.33 $356.07
PG 28 $267.00 $321.68 $376.37
PG 29 $292.41 $340.02 $387.62
PG 30 $359.56 $416.69 $473.81
Source: FBISD Compensation Handbook 1999-2000.

The salary classification of manual trades as shown in Exhibit 3-26 include custodians, some clerical staff, craftsmen, bus drivers, carpenters, repairmen, electricians and police officers. The number of days compensated for staff in this salary classification range from 176 to 261, with the majority at 261 days. For example, a plumber at pay grade 48 at the midpoint would be paid a hourly rate of $14.89 for 8 hours for 261 days or $31,090 a year.

Exhibit 3-26
FBISD Manual Trades Salary Ranges
1999-2000
Pay Grade Hourly Rate
Minimum Midpoint Maximum
PG 40 $6.24 $7.61 $8.98
PG 41 $6.79 $8.28 $9.77
PG 42 $7.38 $9.00 $10.62
PG 43 $8.03 $9.79 $11.55
PG 44 $8.73 $10.65 $12.57
PG 45 $9.50 $11.58 $13.66
PG 46 $10.32 $12.59 $14.86
PG 47 $11.50 $13.69 $15.88
PG 48 $12.51 $14.89 $17.27
PG 49 $13.60 $16.19 $18.78
PG 50 $14.79 $17.61 $20.45
Source: FBISD Compensation Handbook 1999-2000.

FINDING

Maintaining competitive salaries for certain classified positions has been a challenge for FBISD, as neighboring districts have increased hourly wages in order to attract and retain police officers, custodians and bus drivers. FBISD's Personnel Services commissioned the Texas Association of School Board (TASB) to conduct a salary study and compensation plan for all classifications in the district with the exception of teachers. The June 2000 study stated that pay for many positions in the manual trades group is below market and the number of days paid varies considerably from other districts for some positions. For example:

"Of the sixteen jobs surveyed, 9 were below market. The most highly populated jobs, custodians, food service, and groundskeepers, are the lowest paid. Hiring and retention problems were cited for bus drivers and police officers. Bus drivers in Fort Bend are paid close to the market average but below Katy ISD, the primary competitor. The same is true for police officers. Compounding the problem is a large difference in the number of days that are paid. Bus drivers are paid for 176 days in Fort Bend and 187 days in Katy. Police officers are paid for 210 days in Fort Bend and 260 days in Katy."

As shown in Exhibit 3-27, a number of classified positions in the district are compensated well below peer school districts.

Exhibit 3-27
FBISD Minimum and Maximum Hourly Wages
Classified Staff in Neighboring Independent School Districts
1999-2000 School Year
Position Aldine Cypress-Fairbanks Fort Bend Galena
Park
Houston Katy Spring Branch
  Min. Max. Min. Max. Min. Max. Min. Max. Min. Max. Min. Max. Min. Max.
Custodian 7.39 10.16 7.81 11.01 6.24 8.98 7.21 10.82 6.90 10.09 7.00 10.50 6.20 8.51
Custodian
Lead HS
10.11 17.65 10.18 14.30 11.50 15.88 10.99 16.45 10.85 17.07 12.00 18.00 7.07 10.71
Custodian
Lead MS
9.48 13.52 10.18 14.30 10.32 14.86 9.54 14.30 10.85 17.05 10.40 15.60 7.07 10.71
Custodian
Lead Elem
8.90 13.13 10.18 14.30 9.50 13.66 8.29 12.43 9.11 14.07 9.00 13.50 6.35 9.53
Cafeteria
Worker
7.33 10.47 7.25 9.65 6.24 8.98 7.21 10.82 6.64 9.65 7.00 13.50 5.79 8.51
Cafeteria Manager 11.12 16.31 8.90 16.29 HS
10.78
MS
9.67
EL
8.90
HS
14.88
MS
13.93
EL
12.80
10.97 16.45 HS
8.33
MS
9.12
EL
10.01
HS
12.75
MS
14.07
EL
15.49
MS
12.75
EL
11.25
20.40
18.00
6.87 13.33
Bus Driver 9.60 15.96 11.18 14.30 9.50 13.66 9.54 14.30 10.32 14.30 7.50 11.25 9.50 17.45
Bus Driver Substitute 10.60 14.84 10.18 14.30 10.50 10.50 9.20 9.20 N/A N/A 7.50 11.25 8.75 8.75
Bus Monitor
Sp. Ed.
6.92 10.87 6.65 6.84 6.79 9.77 7.21 10.82 N/A N/A 4.37 6.56 5.79 8.51
Police
Officer
11.76 21.55 11.56 16.29 13.60
13.60
18.78
18.78
    16.38 25.86 17.50 26.25 13.00 19.27
Source: TSPR survey of neighboring districts April 2000; Survey completed by FBISD Human Resources Department.

Custodians, cafeteria workers and bus drivers at FBISD receive less than all but one of the districts surveyed in the above exhibit. Many FBISD staff in these categories voiced dissatisfaction with their salaries during focus groups and in interviews.

Bus drivers and bus monitors do not receive the same level of employee benefits as do other district staff. In 1995, bus drivers negotiated for a higher salary in lieu of benefits which created the two tier structure that currently exists. Bus drivers and monitors who work a minimum of 20 hours per week may elect to enroll in the district's benefit plan. Those who choose to do so receive 75 cents per hour less than the wage scale that they are on. Over time, the wages of bus drivers and monitors have failed to keep up with inflation and the marketplace, creating poor morale among drivers. Low pay has contributed to difficulty in hiring drivers and an annual turnover rate of 20 percent. Bus drivers said in focus groups and interviews that not having benefits was a major contributing factor for looking elsewhere for employment at schools that do offer benefits as well as competitive wages.

Realizing that lack of market competitiveness is hurting the district's ability to attract and retain qualified staff, the district plans to use the study to address the lack of market competitiveness and inconsistent pay ranges. On June 20, 2000, Personnel Services presented TASB findings and recommendations to the board. Among the recommendations were to give a general pay increase to the paraprofessional and manual trades groups (custodians, food service workers and bus drivers). The board reacted favorably to the district's recommendations and will vote on the pay increase at its August 29 board meeting, when it votes on the 2000-01 budget.

COMMENDATION

Recognizing that its manual trade and paraprofessional salaries were below market, FBISD commissioned a TASB compensation and salary study and presented its recommendations to the board to be acted upon for 2000-01.

FINDING

While the district has a compensation philosophy and objectives published in the FBISD Compensation Handbook 1999-2000, there is no clear understanding of what the compensation guidelines are for the district and where the district wants to position salaries in relation to the market. The district's compensation philosophy states:

The Fort Bend Independent School District provides a compensation structure based on job classification that will attract and retain superior employees for each position in order to successfully achieve the mission and objectives of the District in a fiscally responsible manner.

The district's compensation objectives are:

  • To provide current employees with competitive salaries in the job market in order to reward and retain experienced staff;
  • To maintain attractive starting salaries to ensure recruitment of good applicants for all positions;
  • To provide for continued pay advances for employees while managing payroll cost increases with available revenues and reflecting market changes;
  • To provide differential pay ranges between jobs requiring significantly different levels of skill, effort and responsibility; and
  • To comply with all state, local and federal laws ensuring that compensation is not influenced by age, sex, creed, race, national origin, religion or physical handicap.

During focus groups, many interviewees voiced concern regarding compensation of employees including the following comments:

"Need salaries that are competitive with other school districts in this area."
"FBISD salaries are much lower than for similar jobs in community. The district does not follow the Texas Association of School Board Salary Study that was done for employees."
"Administrators are overpaid."

The district does not have a framework for the design of compensation programs. For example, a school district should be able to clearly identify where it wants to position teachers' salaries in relation to the market.

For example, a compensation philosophy could be "FBISD will target all teacher salaries between the market average and the 75th percentile of the market among peer school districts." A compensation philosophy should include what types of surveys or other resources will be used to determine salary comparisons, and what peer districts will be included for comparison. FBISD uses a variety of surveys from a number of sources, but does not have a consistent process for determining which surveys or methodologies will be used for various pay grades and classifications of employees. The inconsistency has contributed to the dissatisfaction voiced by teachers and classified staff regarding the fairness of pay increases given to categories of staff.

FBISD has stated that the district plans to target all salaries between market average and 90 percent of market average among 12 peer districts; however, their compensation philosophy does not reflect this goal.

Recommendation 31:

Revise the district's compensation philosophy and strategy to include a framework for the design of employee compensation.

The district should examine its compensation programs and decide where it wishes to target itself in regard to the market. FBISD should complete an annual study using published survey data and peer district data to determine whether or not it is competitive within the marketplace.

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1.The superintendent appoints a committee to revise the district's compensation philosophy and design a framework for determining compensation for each employee group. Human Resources leads the group. November 2000-December 2000
2. The committee develops a framework for compensation and outlines the competitive position for each employee group. January 2001
3. The associate superintendent of Human Resources presents the revised compensation philosophy to the board for approval. February 2001
4. The associate superintendent of Human Resources and the budget officer use the philosophy to develop all employee pay structures and programs. March 2001

FISCAL IMPACT

This recommendation could be implemented with existing resources.

FINDING

Lack of market competitiveness is hurting the district's ability to attract and retain qualified staff in certain pay classifications, including classroom aides, instructional coordinators and manual trade groups. Additionally, staff compensation priorities for FBISD have not been focused enough on teachers.

Exhibit 3-28 presents a five-year trend of average FBISD salaries for teachers, professional support staff, campus administrators and central administrators.

Exhibit 3-28
Fort Bend ISD Average Salary Trends
1995-96 - 1999-2000
  1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000
Teachers $29,364 $31,495 $33,646 $34,626 $38,912
Prof. Support $35,915 $37,597 $40,340 $42,168 $46,109
Campus Admin. $45,630 $56,920 $59,262 $61,512 $63,285
Central Admin. $55,319 $64,381 $69,842 $72,689 $76,613
Source: TEA AEIS 1994-1999; PEIMS 1999-2000.

In recent years, the district has given teachers larger increases as a percentage of their pay than other employees. For 1999-2000, FBISD increased teacher pay in a range between 12 and 14 percent, while non-teacher professional educator salaries were increased either by $4,000 or by 4.5 percent, whichever was greater for the employee.

For 1999-2000, FBISD added an additional $1,000 to the $3,000 teacher's pay increase mandated and supplemented by the state. The average teacher's increase for that year was between 12 and 14 percent. In addition, the district implemented a two-year plan to bring teachers with 10 years of experience in line with area averages. Despite this pay increase in 1999-2000, many teachers believe they are not compensated fairly.

Exhibit 3-29 compares FBISD's average actual salaries with its peer districts. With the exception of teachers with one to five years and more than 20 years, FBISD's compensation fell short of its peer average.

Exhibit 3-29
FBISD Teacher Salaries
FBISD versus Peer Districts
1999-2000
Variable Beginning 1-5 Years 6-10 Years 11-20 Years Over 20 Years
Aldine $29,957 $34,716 $38,460 $46,710 $51,275
Austin $30,217 $31,544 $35,054 $41,448 $49,253
Cypress-Fairbanks $30,197 $33,174 $36,317 $40,736 $47,428
Katy $32,350 $34,251 $38,683 $44,096 $51,945
Plano $31,959 $33,698 $36,555 $43,132 $52,782
Round Rock $29,176 $31,341 $34,592 $40,682 $46,243
Fort Bend $28,330 $33,342 $36,237 $42,706 $50,117
Average without Fort Bend $30,642 $33,121 $36,610 $42,801 $49,821
Source: PEIMS, 1999-2000.

Exhibit 3-30 compares FBISD's average actual salaries for teachers, professional support, school administration and central administration with those of peer districts. The average actual salary for FBISD teachers and professional support and is less compared with peer districts. Salaries for FBISD campus administration and central administration are higher, on the average, compared to peer districts.

Exhibit 3-30
Average Actual Salaries
FBISD versus Peer Districts
1999-2000
District Teachers Professional
Support
Campus
Administration
Central
Administration
Aldine $40,517 $48,547 $56,912 $78,564
Austin $38,176 $45,510 $51,433 $66,415
Cypress-Fairbanks $38,091 $48,487 $59,214 $67,271
Fort Bend $38,912 $46,109 $63,285 $76,613
Katy $41,072 $50,482 $64,060 $80,779
Plano $39,927 $46,044 $66,078 $77,095
Round Rock $36,968 $44,010 $58,333 $82,990
Average without Fort Bend $39,125 $47,180 $59,338 $75,519
Source: PEIMS, 1999-2000.

In response to the TSPR survey, only 32 percent of teachers thought district salaries were competitive with similar positions in the job market, compared to less than half (49 percent) of administrators who felt district salaries were competitive with similar positions in the job market. TSPR received many comments on the surveys from teachers and in focus groups regarding compensation including the following:

"There are too many central administrators receiving high pay as compared to teachers."

"There is reluctance by central administration to ask for more revenues for teachers and facilities. This is gradually hurting the district."

"... Our district's pay is not comparable to surrounding districts even with an increased business tax base."

"I have been in education for many years and it is my opinion that teachers are not compensated for the enormous responsibility that they must carry."

"Pay for teachers is too low."

"Recruiting new teachers to FBISD is very difficult because FBISD's salary scale is not competitive with area districts."

"Why is our superintendent's pay the third highest in Texas and the teachers' pay in the bottom half of the state?"

Recommendation 32:

Raise FBISD teacher salaries to exceed average peer district salaries.

Adding an additional $1,000 to the state-mandated pay raise in 1999-2000 was a very positive step toward compensating teachers, and TSPR applauds the district for its attempts to make teachers' salaries more attractive.

By giving each teacher at least a $500 pay increase, the district could better position itself within the market, reduce teacher turnover, increase morale and fill vacancies that could lower its student-to-teacher ratio.

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The superintendent directs the associate superintendent of Human Resources to develop a plan and cost estimate to give all teachers an annual pay increase. March 2001
2. The superintendent presents the plan to the board for approval. June 2001
3. The board approves the pay increase. August 2001
4. The pay increase goes into effect. August 2001

FISCAL IMPACT

According to the FBISD Human Resources Department, the district had 3,236 teachers in 1999-2000. Giving each teacher a $500 annual pay raise, beginning in 2001-02, will cost the district $1,618,000 annually (3,236 X $500 = $1,618,000).

Recommendation 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
Raise FBISD teacher salaries to exceed average peer district salaries. $0 ($1,618,000) ($1,618,000) ($1,618,000) ($1,618,000)