The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Million-dollar-a-day TCC budget receives approval

By Kenney Kost/editor-in-chief

The board of trustees unanimously voted yes for the proposed 2013-14 budget Aug. 19.

However, the vote for a 3.5 percent pay raise for employees across the district and 40 new positions was a little closer at 4-2.

Secretary O.K. Carter and assistant secretary Conrad Heede both voiced concerns about the pay increase and said they didn’t feel comfortable voting yes.

“I feel that 3 percent would exceed anything you would see in the private sector,” Carter said. “We started at 2, and it went up to 3, and there never really was any budge on the 3.5 once it was reached. I still would support the 3. I’m not going to support the 3.5.” 

Heede shared his sentiments.

“In all good conscience, I think I’m not against a pay increase. I think everybody deserves to be paid and paid well,” Heede said. “I’m 100 percent for the 3 percent increase. In good conscience, that last half percent, philosophically, I have to say no.”

Carter also expressed concerns over hiring new employees, including 10 new mentors that will be funded with money diverted out of the fund for “sticky spaces,” or places where students gather.

“I also feel that 40 employees is too much given the generally flat enrollment trends we’ve seen, and I still don’t think we should raid the sticky space fund,” he said.

Heede said he supported the use of the sticky spaces fund for the mentors stating, “I think they are needed, and it’s all about the students.”

Vice president Kristin Vandergriff expressed her support of the increase, saying it recognizes how college jobs have changed.

“I support the 3.5 percent because I think there is kind of a call to action,” Vandergriff said. “The learning methodology is different. Everything is changing. I don’t think this is excessive. I think it is deserved.”

The approved budget of $362 million is an increase of $10.7 million from last year’s budget. The biggest changes are the $18.2 million decrease under renewal and replacement and a $20 million increase in the building fund.

“The decrease in renewal and replacement is primarily because the facilities and maintenance people have done an excellent job of completing projects,” Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley said. “And the building fund includes $17 million for the energy technology center and the $3 million payment for the Bell Helicopter building.”

Hadley also announced there would be no increase in cost for student course materials in this year’s budget.

“We have chosen to take less of a percent increase on the sales of course materials and pass that savings on to the students,” she said.

The board also unanimously voted to approve the beginning phases of the early college high school on SE Campus. The cost is estimated at $13 million.

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