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      McAllen ISD accused of shorting teacher pay raises

      McAllen ISD is accused of violating state law by shorting teachers on a pay raise.

      The McAllen American Federation of Teachers made these claims last year, and after reviewing the case, a TEA judge ruled in their favor.

      "It has been a big challenge," said McAllen AFT President Ruth Skow.

      The McAllen American Federation of Teachers filed the grievance against McAllen ISD stating that the district violated a 2009 law that provided a state funded pay raise averaging about 800 dollars for teachers and any other increases that were due under the local salary schedule for 2008-2009.

      "We are saying that all along they've had a salary schedule any raise plus a step," said Skow.

      The district provided a 1 thousand dollar pay increase for teachers, nurses, counselors, librarians and speech pathologists, but the union said the staff was entitled to more.

      "The staff is entitled to a step that they have earned," said Skow.

      A step, meaning a pay increase depending on the years of experience they have.

      "They decided not to give that," said Skow.

      Skow said the district had a salary schedule on their website that reflected a pay increase based on experience, but McAllen ISD's Norma Zamora-Guerra said they've got it all wrong, and it's a complete misinterpretation ofthe salary schedule.

      Guerra said the website salary schedule reflected how much a person with a certain amount of experience would make as a starting salary.

      "After a year, you don't automatically jump up another step," said Guerra.

      Guerra said the district calculates salary based on what the budget can allow, and teh increasses vary from year to year.

      "Historically McAllen school district has never paid step increases," said Guerra.

      The Administrative Law Judge with the Texas Education Agency ruled in favor of the union on this issue, so that the grievance can move forward.

      The proposal will go before the Texas Commissioner of Education for the final decision.