On Tuesday, the El Paso Independent School District school board gave Superintendent Juan Cabrera a $45,000 raise, and district employees are seriously unhappy about it.

Employee union leaders say that when they have asked for raises in the past, they have been told by the board that there is no money in the budget. Teachers, custodians and other district staff have been trying to get a raise of as much as 5 percent in recent years, but were told no by the board. Instead, last year, they were given a 1.6% raise. Union officials say that’s why they are so angry with the 15% raise that Cabrera was given.

Union officials had asked the board for pay raises of 2% to 4% at Tuesday's board meeting, but they say because of the 15% raise for Cabrera, they will now ask for no less than 4% to 5% raises. School board president Dori Fennenbock says the board will be looking at raises in the upcoming budget that will be set in June.

Fenenbock said Cabrera earned the $45,000 raise because he surpassed the board's expectations and got the $668.7 million school bond issue passed. It is not clear if that raise was mandated in Cabrera's contract, or if the school board decided on it arbitrarily.


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