Austin Community College District (ACC) presented its fiscal year 2023 budget proposal, which includes a new compensation increase structure, at the June 20, 2022, Board of Trustees meeting.
The $16 million compensation proposal provides all employees a 5% raise with a minimum salary increase of $5,000 a year. As a result, employees who have the lowest current salaries would see the largest percentage increase. The average (median) employee salary would increase by about 7.6%.
“ACC is listening. What is clear is that our employees care about this institution, about serving our students, and about lifting our community. They love working at ACC. We want to support them,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC chancellor. “ACC employees are being hit by inflation and we want to do what we can to hold on to our talented faculty and staff and offset the rising cost of everything. We’re recommending a substantial increase in employee compensation to help alleviate the burdens of recent inflation. Our goal is to find a solution that balances our employees’ needs with the needs of our community and students.”
Ten employees signed up to speak during the Citizen’s Communication portion of the meeting to share their concerns about the rapid rise in the cost of living in Central Texas.
“Employees are requesting 10% across the board. It is a logical number given what we’re seeing with inflation. But, it’s difficult to meet across the board. It would amount to about $10 million more than what we presented last month in our preliminary budget proposal,” says Neil Vickers, ACC executive vice chancellor of Business and Administration. “To be perfectly honest, it’s more than what we have. However, we came up with some alternatives with a goal to get 10 percent or more to as many employees as possible.”
A break down of the proposed compensation structure can be summarized as follows:
|Current Compensation||Average Proposed Increase|
|Minimum wage: $15.66/hour||$18/hour|
|Under $50,000/year||10+% Increase|
|$50,000 – $99,999/year||10-5% Increase|
Trustees are expected to approve the budget during its next regular board meeting on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
“We are proud to have a track record of providing raises to all employees over the years. As Trustees, we’re committed to exploring all the options that help us compensate our employees for the rising cost of living while supporting our students and remaining good stewards to our taxpayers” says Dr. Nan McRaven, ACC Board chair. “This board values and respects its employees, and we realize that our standard approach may not be enough during these uncertain financial times.”
In FY2022, the college provided a 4% across-the-board compensation increase, $2.5 million in market adjustments for hundreds of non-faculty positions based on the results of a market study, and a $1,000 holiday bonus to all employees.
About ACC’s Revenue Streams
ACC — like all Texas community colleges — is funded in three ways: through student tuition and fees, state funding, and property taxes.
Currently, property tax revenue is expected to generate almost 67% of the district’s total revenue, while tuition and fees represent about 15%, followed by state appropriations at 15%, and less than 4% from other sources of revenue.
About 61% of the college’s $467 million budget supports salaries and benefits, while the remaining funds support debt service, operating cost, and equipment and technology.
The board previously voted to maintain in-district tuition rates for the ninth consecutive year. At $67 per credit, ACC tuition is the most affordable among area colleges and universities.
To learn more about the college’s finance and budgeting process, visit ACC’s Finance and Administration webpage.