TJC to propose raises for more than 500 employees

Published on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 21:40 - Written by By Emily Guevara

For the first time in three years, Tyler Junior College is proposing raises for its more than 500 full-time employees.

TJC President Mike Metke said he is recommending a 2 percent raise plus $500 across the board for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

“Our people have doubled up on their work,” Metke said. “We’ve tried not to hire. They’re more productive. We’d like to reward that.”

The college’s nine-member board of trustees will consider the salary proposal Thursday during its 11 a.m. meeting.

The raises as proposed will cost the college more than $830,000. TJC will get slightly more additional revenue from the state for employee benefits, but it’s still going to be a tight budget year, Metke said.

If enrollment turns out to be higher than expected, the college could look at giving higher raises mid-year, but that is not expected, Metke said.

The raises in TJC’s salary proposal fall slightly under the average being proposed by other community colleges around the state, Metke said. However, he said, the college does try to stay competitive.

“We’re putting forward a conservative budget,” he said. “If it turns out that enrollment is significantly stronger … then we would like to do more.”

When it comes to the tax rate, the college is proposing to maintain the existing tax rate but use additional revenues for the preservation fund. The existing rate is 19.99 cents per $100 valuation.

Chief Financial Officer Sarah Van Cleef said she expects a 2 percent increase in property valuations this year, which would bring the college an additional $500,000 in revenue.

The plan is to put that revenue toward the college preservation fund, which already has more than $500,000. That would bring the total to about $1.4 million, Metke said.

The fund, created in 2009, is to be used to maintain the college infrastructure so that it doesn’t deteriorate. Metke said the college needs about $4.5 million in the fund to be able to take care of current and future buildings. He said the college will continue to add to it annually as feasible.

The board meeting is scheduled to take place in the White Administrative Services Center Board Room on the TJC main campus. A 10 a.m. board workshop in the Board Conference Room also is scheduled. Both are open to the public.