TEXAS CITY — College of the Mainland has the money to give employees a 4 percent raise, but who will get the raise is still up in the air.

Board of Trustees seemed in favor of giving the raise at a recent workshop, but what the board could not decide on is which employees should get the pay increase.

During last year’s budget process, the trustees approved putting away about $500,000 that could be used for an across-the-board pay raise if it was warranted after a salary study was performed. The study was done, and a 4 percent raise was recommended.

The raise would cost the college about $652,000, which would be paid for with the saved money plus other budget cuts, the college said. The pay increase would be applied retroactively for the fiscal 2014 budget year, which means employees could see a large paycheck in August.

And that is where the disagreements between trustees came up.

While some on the board argued that the increase should apply to all employees whether they are still employed or have retired or been fired in the last year, others argued the money should only be used on those who are still employed by the college.

Board Chairman Roney McCrary said according to the college’s attorney, the trustees could give the increase to whichever set of employees they see fit.

“If someone is no longer employed here, we don’t give them 4 percent pay increase,” Trustee Wayne Miles said. “I think it’s reserved for those employees that are currently here.”

But Trustee Nick Stepchinski argued that the trustees had made an agreement with employees a year ago that there would be a raise after the salary study was performed.

“We didn’t say you have to be here on that day or we can’t fire you or you can’t quit and go someplace else or you can’t retire,” Stepchinski said. “We flat said this is your money and we are going to hold it until we get ready.”

Miles, McCrary and Trustee Rachel Delgado all voted at a workshop Friday to award the pay increase only to those still employed. Trustees Ralph Holm, Bennie Matthews and Stepchinski voted against it.

Trustee Rosalie Kettler was absent; and without a tiebreaker, the motion failed.

Stepchinski made a motion that the raise should apply to all employees but it, too, failed after a tied vote with Miles, McCrary and Delgado against it and Stepchinski, Matthews and Holm for it.

The trustees tabled the issue until the full board could meet again.

Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or chris.gonzalez@galvnews.com.

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