UI to give targeted raises to staff, faculty

URBANA — Despite a bleak budget year, the University of Illinois plans to award merit-based raises averaging 2.5 percent to faculty and staff this summer, though the money will be highly targeted.

Money for the raises, roughly $29 million, comes from internal budget reallocations over the last two years and tuition income, administrators said Monday. The UI saw its state funding drop by $44.2 million, or about 6 percent, for fiscal 2013, which began July 1.

"These are hard times. Any increase is going to be questioned; it's normal," said Christophe Pierre, UI vice president for academic affairs.

But faculty compensation is "very market-driven" and the university has to stay competitive to attract and retain its top professors, Pierre and other administrators said.

Other Big Ten universities are planning salary programs of 1 percent to 3 percent, said Randall Kangas, UI associate vice president for planning and budgeting.

Employees also are acutely aware of recent cuts in state pension benefits and the possibility of further reductions, officials said.

Administrators don't have official numbers yet on how many faculty left the UI as of June 30, but "we're hearing lots of offers are being made," Kangas said.

UI President Bob Easter said 2 percent of the salary money will go toward general merit-based raises, and another 0.5 percent will address market or equity concerns — retaining faculty vulnerable to outside offers, for example, or adjusting salaries for longer-term professors whose pay has fallen below the market and who sometimes are earning less than newer hires, Easter said.

The raises won't be automatic. No employee is guaranteed a raise, there is no minimum increase, and raises will vary significantly, officials said.

Any individual increase above 7 percent on the campuses will be "carefully monitored," according to a letter from Easter to university officers on Friday. Also, raises exceeding 7 percent for senior administrators, or for academic professionals within the university administration, will require personal approval from Easter, the letter said.

Easter said all commitments to existing contracts and promotions also will be honored.

The letter described the raises as "small but critical" during a challenging budget year.

"We've got great employees who deserved appropriate and competitive support," Easter said Monday.

Even with the raise, UI employees aren't keeping up with inflation, Pierre noted.

UI workers received, on average, 3 percent raises last summer, nothing the two years before that, and 1.5 percent in 2009.

For the last two years the university has tried to plan how it could provide merit raises during lean budget years, Easter said. As positions became vacant, for example, the UI tried to "recapture" those dollars to apply toward other goals, he said.

However, "this taps us pretty well," Easter said. "We won't be able to go much further."

The UI's preliminary budget request for fiscal 2014 — presented Monday to a UI Board of Trustees committee, the first step in the year-long state budget process — includes $53.4 million for employee raises. The money would provide 3 percent merit-based raises plus another 1.5 percent targeted toward highly recruited or under-compensated faculty, officials said.

The overall budget request seeks an $82.8 million increase in the UI's state funding. Besides the money for raises, it includes $29.4 million to meet cost increases in Medicare, worker's compensation, operations and maintenance, utilities and library acquisitions.

The full board will review the budget request next week in Chicago and take a final vote in September. It will then be submitted to the Illinois Board of Higher Education, which makes recommendations to the governor and Legislature.

"Based on the financial difficulties in the state and based on the reduction we just had, it's hard to be optimistic. But one never knows," Pierre said of the budget's prospects. "It's important to really point to what our real needs are. We need to continue to state our case."

The UI's preliminary capital funding request totals more than $700 million for the three campuses, including almost $304 million for Urbana. The top priority is repairs and renovations, as well as $15 million for a new Natural History Building and $50 million to redevelop the Undergraduate and Main Library.

But officials noted that most items are recirculated from previous requests that weren't funded. Capital funding has been "spotty at best" over the last decade, Pierre said. The UI's last capital appropriation came in 2010 — $254 million, which included $60 million for the Blue Waters petascale supercomputing facility, and $57 million for the Lincoln Hall renovation. But the university received no state capital funding from 2005-2009.

Comments

News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

Lostinspace wrote on July 10, 2012 at 9:07 am

The rich get rich and the poor get poorer.

In the meantime, in between time, ain't we got fun

Mark Taylor wrote on July 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

That's ding dang right. All these multi millionaire univerity employees with their mercedes benzes and car garages and swiss bank accounts burn my buns. Why, they're as rich as romney and now they want more of my tax money that funds their lavish lifestyle?

NO WAY!!!

We should do what scranton penn has done and pay ALL public employees, including cops, fire, and boondoggle university "workers," minimum wage and NO MORE!!!11!

TEA PARTY!!!
WOO HOO!!1!

Bulldogmojo wrote on July 10, 2012 at 9:07 am

"Staff"? How are they defining "staff" here? Certainly not anyone who is represented by one of the locals. The U of I has had some long standing unresolved promises to the people who keep this University running. The Child Care Workers at ECDL/CDL for example, who provide safe care for the children of faculty and staff and provide a child development lab for child/human development students through the Psychology department are still making barely above minimum wage. 30% less than the lowest paid clerical staff. A disgrace! The University promised to resolve this disparity three years ago and still nothing. As always there is the difference between the press release and what really happens. No shortage of empty promises here.

mcwolf wrote on July 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm

It has always kind of blown my mind that the people who care for our children are among the most poorly paid individuals in our society. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on July 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm

All public universities in all of the states have the same problems.  Where are the high paid faculty going to go?  Are they going to go to private universities?  Are they going to go to Europe?  Raises have been meager for the lower ranks of university employees.  Yet, when raises are given; they go to the faculty.  Yes, as acknowledged in the Troyer settlement; two sets of rules exist in university employment.  It exists in raises also.  If your Civil Service, and can get out; leave the university because you have no future there anymore.  Your going to lose your pension; and your not going to get a raise.

joshua d wrote on July 11, 2012 at 9:07 am

your infatuation with toyer is weird. hows it related to faculty raises any way. your comments on so many different articles try to make them all a troyer conspiracy. thats just strange.

Sid Saltfork wrote on July 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm

My "infactuation with Troyer" has nothing to do with Troyer herself.  She is only another example of the double standard that exists within the university.  Two sets of rules exist on campus.  One for employees who are not faculty; and one for faculty.  Both groups are state employees.  Both groups should be subject to the same rules, and benefits.  I am sure that you do not see the distinction.  If you were Civil Service, it would stand out like a sore thumb. I am not opposed to the faculty; but I am opposed to the differing treatment between the two groups.  If you think that I am wrong, ask a Civil Service employee about the double standard.  Pick one that does not work in your department so they will not be intimidated by your questions.  

pangloss wrote on July 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Faculty members are what make the University; advanced degrees and the knowledge that comes along with attaining those are what makes these people marketable and able to get tenured positions teaching the students.  Finding (and keeping) a good professor at a University is much more difficult (and costly) than doing the same with a person who works in the cafeteria (common, not nearly as high-specialized, skillset).

wayward wrote on July 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm

your infatuation with toyer is weird. hows it related to faculty raises any way. your comments on so many different articles try to make them all a troyer conspiracy. thats just strange.

What's "just strange" is how someone who's never made a comment unrelated to Troyer accuses another poster (who's commented on a variety of topics) of "infatuation" with her.

Mike wrote on July 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm

To be fair, on a general scale, civil service employees represented by unions get more percentage-wise than faculty. I realize that the AFSCME folks are working without a contract right now, which sucks, but if they were that upset about it (and I'm not being flippant here) they could have gone on strike last August 16th or whenever it ran out.

Their previous contract had in it that all workers represented by them got whatever the annual campus raise was, no matter what. So if campus said that academic staff were getting an average of 3%, ALL of the union-represented folks got 3% (while some academic staff got 2% and others got 4%, etc.--to average out to a total of 3%). 

In addition to that, many (most?) represented civil service folks get "step raises" of 2% on their anniversary date. So in years where there is a salary program, the AFSCME workers (I don't know the details for the other unions) get the same percentage at the end of the year PLUS 2% on their anniversary date. When there is no salary program, the AFSCME workers don't get a raise at the end of the year, but they still get their 2% "step" raise. 

I'm not trying to argue that civil servants are paid too much or anything of that nature, I'm just trying to clear up that in actuality, "when raises are given" they do NOT just go to the faculty, and that the opposite is in fact true for a good number of civil servants.

(And if I am misunderstanding any of this, by all means, feel free to correct me...)

Bulldogmojo wrote on July 12, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Even when our contracts lapse during wage negotiations the "spirit" of the language in the contract is as a matter of professional courtesy to be respected and upheld by both sides during negotiations. We uphold that. AFSCME has a no strike clause in their contract so we do not have the option to strike unless we reach a total impasse and that would need to be voted on. We do need to put a strike clause back in the contract though. If 1500 people were to walk from all the clerical/secretarial positions and the accounts payable, receivable, PAYROLL, development processing, grant processing and so on and so on, those duties left undone would leave a lot of academia scratching their heads as to what was going to get done.  We have had consistent raises based on that step system. That step system was meant to disuade departments from pay increase favoritism and that is a problem in academia, is it not? We created this local and operate it in the face of intimidation from University administration/HR for no other reason than to have a chilling affect, we carried the picket signs, developed and negotaited a contract. We actually show up for the negotiations too. Here is a video of Admin's bargaining team just blowing off negotiations. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=3389858978430   We carried the picket signs and fought for years to establish fair wages, We have also put in our time for tuition waivers now gone, and paid our pensions now compromised, and we have not abandoned the University mission like the disgraced chain of administrators have, nor the terms of our contracts which the U of I enters into eyes wide open with all the facts agreed upon.

Mike wrote on July 13, 2012 at 11:07 am

I am *certainly* not arguing with any of that (other than maybe the "spirit" part--you have a contract, and both sides should be honoring it--that's what contracts are and of course the Big U isn't going to give raises until that contract is resigned. But again, correct me if I'm wrong, but won't you get backpay for all that time back to a 3% raise last August 16th? I sure hope so, for my wife's sake... ;)

I was just pointing out that pecentage-wise, many (most) faculty don't get a 3% raise and a 2% raise any given year--they just get, on average, 3%, assuming their is a salary program. So again, I'm certainly not saying that clerical staff are overpaid, but to say that faculty get raises MORE OFTEN than civil servants is at best misleading and at worst, just plain wrong. 

I *do* hope that the University can get their business with AFSCME moving along (for selfish reasons for my wife, of course, first and foremost). 

And yes, it would suck if all of you went on strike. Thanks for not doing that (yet). :-)

Fat Boy wrote on July 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm

What is misleading here is looking at % increases. Your premise that academia ONLY gets 2% while staff gets 3% is extremely misleading. Which would you rather have--3% of a staff member's $35,000 annual salary or 2% of academia's $75,000 (very conservative example) annual salary? If you can't tell by just looking at this, do the math. You can't spend percentages at the grocery store. You can only spend the value of those percentages and academia is not going without. They get more dollars with their 2% than staff get with their 3%.

As far as back pay goes--that is negotiable and if the university does not agree to it, there won't be any. Back pay is NOT guananteed.

Fat Boy wrote on July 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm

A no strike clause only means that you will not strike during the term of the agreement and has NOTHING to do with what happens upon the expiration of the agreement. There is no such thing as a "strike" clause. The union membership makes the decision on whether or not to strike and after adhering to certain legal obligations the membership can walk. I cannot imagine a union that would ask management if it would agree to allow the members to strike by adding a "strike clause" in a collective bargaining agreement. Please do your homework before you attempt to educate others.

Bulldogmojo wrote on July 17, 2012 at 12:07 am

OK here we go educating others... our contract is here, page 35 of this document https://nessie.uihr.uillinois.edu/pdf/labor/urbana/3700Contract.pdf  "No strike and no lockout" I have done my homework obviously and as I said both sides uphold the spirit of the contract during negotiations we don't just go into a full on strike the second a contract expires. There has never been a wage agreement, in my memory at least, that was agreed upon before the expiration dates of a contract. If we actually walked out on strike every time a contract reached it's expiration dates and stayed out until a new agreement was reached, we would all be unemployed about 1 year out of of every 3 or 4 years. What would be the point of doing that?

Fat Boy wrote on July 17, 2012 at 11:07 am

NO STRIKE DURING THE TERM OF THE AGREEMENT! Once a contract has expired the language is not binding unless both sides aree to allow it and either side can withdraw that agreement at any time. Talk to someone in your union who knows more than you and please pay attention.

Fat Boy wrote on July 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Bulldogmojo, please re-read what you have written. YOU are the one who said you needed to put a "strike clause" in your contract. I'm simply trying to explain to you that a "strike clause" is an absurdity. NO ONE has offered any criticism whasoever about the union's decision not to strike at this point. However, that is the only real weapon the union has.

pangloss wrote on July 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Child care workers do not "keep this University running", though of course they provide a good service.  They don't get paid more simply because the supply of people who have the required skills for this job (ability to change diapers and serve up snacks, etc.) and who are willing to work for slightly above minimum wage readily meets the demand for such workers..  No need to get bent out of shape about the economics of it. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on July 12, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Glad you spoke up.  It helps define the disparity in employment rules from an academic's point of view.  The economics everyone understands.  Obviously, a Ph.D. earns more than a clerical.  Should they both be subject to the same employment rules?  Can you run the university with academics only?  

Mike wrote on July 12, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Again, to be fair, it isn't simply that a professor with a Ph.D. makes more than a clerical worker. 

The Lisa Troyer situation is not normal, on many levels. Faculty and academic staff are as outraged and furious about that situation as the civil service staff members are. Not all faculty are upper-level administrators. Not all of them agree with how the administration runs things, nor support them when rules are broken.

And not all faculty make more money than all civil servants.

Child care workers may complain that they make a very small salary compared to all those professors in their ivory towers. Some professors on campus make less than $50,000 a year. Gosh, that may sound like a lot of money, but consider that a sheet metal foreman (a civil servant) makes over $80,000 a year, and a sheet metal worker makes almost $70,000 a year--and there are a bunch of sheet metal workers. 

There are APs on campus who have Master's degrees that make $30,000-$40,000 a year. 

My point is that sure, there is some disparity on some levels, but the idea that all the professors make oodles of money and all the people that "keep the University running" make a pittance is simply unfounded. 

Bulldogmojo wrote on July 12, 2012 at 11:07 pm

The child care workers are active educators not "diaper changers and snack severs" as you would suggest. They have to follow a very rigorous tactile and education format developed by the U of I Psychology dept. for those little minds so they can grow up to be little academics. By the way, 2 of the 3 child care civil service worker classifications require bachelors degrees.

Sid Saltfork wrote on July 13, 2012 at 1:07 am

Mike; You made good points.  Pay raises for both groups are necessary with increasing food, transportation, and other necessary expenditures.  You seem not to have the same elitism as exhibited by the good doctor Pangloss, "the greatest philosopher of the Holy Roman Empire": Voltaire.  My point is that "targeted" pay raises based on a limited amount of money will go to the faculty primarily; and the employment rules differ for both groups.  You use one of the highest paid Civil Service classifications as an example of pay disparity.  I could use an Engineering professor's salary as an example.  We both know what is coming with "pension reform".  We both know that the state has repeatedly skipped the employer's payment into the employees pension systems.  We both know that the media is encouraging the continued theft.  The faculty has a union of sorts.  The academic professionals have a union of sorts.  The Civil Service employees have unions.  The university promotes division among the groups.  The "targeted" pay raises, and unequal treatment in employment rules promote the division of the groups.  All of the groups should be collectively demonstrating solidarity on the same issues facing them.  All should be backing one set of employment rules for all employees.  All should be backing the same percentage of pay raise for all employees.  Everyone works in their classification doing their specific job duties.  No assumed, or traditional privileages for one group by another group.  I have read your comments in the past; and have agreed with more than I have disagreed with.  What do you think on this, Mike?    

Mike wrote on July 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Sure. Sorry I didn't reply sooner. Believe it or not, during a vacation day today I had to drive up to work to take care of a few things that apparently couldn't wait until next week. That's what I get for regularly checking work e-mail from home. On days off. At night. On weekends. Just thought I'd get that in there (grin).

I do admit that I did find one of the highest paid civil service groups (and had to look for a while to find people with "PROF" in their title that made $40s). 

I do think that all three groups of employees are equally as frustrated about the pension baloney, and the impending loss of tuition waivers (I have two kids in high school and have well over my seven years in, and with a few years until college, this is likely getting yanked out from under us...). Nobody I've talked to--be it long-time tenured faculty, new assistant professors, APs, nor secretaries and clerks--are happy with the way things are going with the funding for the University. None of us. There is a very, very small minority of people at the very top on campus--if we want to talk about the "1%" of America, we're not that far off doing the same thing for employees on campus. 

While I sort of understand that faculty "has a union of sorts" (I assume you mean that their tenure system allows them to essentially have a job for life once they've "made tenure") there is no such system for academic professionals. APs have year-to-year contracts and can be terminated at any time, with varying lengths of notice based on how long the AP has worked at UIUC. 

It's easy to get rid of APs. I've seen it happen on multiple occasions. I've NEVER seen a civil servant dismissed. It's too difficult to do. They simply get shuffled to somewhere else--that's the easiest and most painless way to handle it. 

So again, I'm sort of rambling on and getting off topic, but I don't think there's as much division between groups as you think--not where I work on campus anyway. Yeah, there's a hierarchy, but there is little "us vs. them" that I see. 

As far as all groups having the same rules, they mostly do. Same retirement systems, and many other similar benefits (such as the aforementioned tuition waivers that will likely go away within the next year). 

When we start talking disparities of things such as time off, more flexible work hours, etc., sure there is a difference, and there's a reason for that, and again, I'm not trying to argue whether it is right or wrong, but it's like this: there is a high demand for faculty (and some APs). Faculty invent things. They write books. They bring in grant money. Many APs do similar things, or have roles of importance with the invention of things, etc. It behooves the University to keep highly-trained faculty because they bring recognition to the University, and money, and other stuff. While I agree that some of this stuff doesn't happen if the lights aren't on and the garbage isn't emptied and the students aren't fed and the secretaries aren't around to answer the phone and sort the mail (again, not trying to be flippant), there is a small supply of talented faculty and a large demand for them, and a large supply of adequate civil service workers, and while I don't want to say a low demand, there are more people clamoring to "get on" as civil servants at the University than there are jobs for them. So yeah, whether any of us like it or not, the University, which is an academic institution at its root (and not a driver's facility or some such), puts much more importance on retaining important faculty than anything else.  

There will never be parity between the three groups in that regard, because that's sort of how the whole thing is designed. Hope that makes sense and didn't sound too crass or uncaring. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on July 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Mike;  We do not agree due to different perspectives on some things; but we do on others.  I hope that the tuition waivers continue for employees.  I know two families where the moms are clericals.  Both families would not be able to pay for their kids college education without the one half tuition waiver.  With Quinn signing the end of legislative tuition waivers today, the legislators could spitefully end the employees one half tuition waivers.  I hope not though.  Enjoy your weekend with your family.    

Bulldogmojo wrote on July 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm

You have never seen a civil service person gotten rid of?? I have! Why do you think there are civil service openings during the most aggressive downsizing by attrition periods in University history? When they are dismissed it's for real and immediate, not this stay on board for a year or two termination contract business that AP's enjoy. Where in the private sector does that deal exist? Not too many places. I would ask my department head to weigh in on this but I can't because he is on his second 8 week vacation in the last eight months. but as soon as he gets back I will let you know...

Mike wrote on July 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Hrm. Yes, after giving it a lot of thought, I still stand by that. In my 10+ years at the University I have not seen a single civil servant be let go. I've seen a few be moved to other positions both because of monetary situations as well as because of personalities. Probably 3 or 4 of those in that time. And those 3 or 4 spanned a number of departments/colleges. 

As far as the "stay on board ... contract business" I have seen firsthand an attempt to fire a civil servant and their union gets involved, staff HR gets involved, and there are a whole bunch of "steps" that have to be taken over many, many, many months in order to terminate someone in AFSCME. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I'm just saying that you can't just walk up to any given secretary and point at them like Donald Trump and say "you're fired." It most definitely does not work that way. 

I have seen at least 3 APs let go because of funding issues. I know one that was let go for not doing a good job. I think that's about it, if my memory serves. I'm obviously not a "snapshot" of the entire University, but yes, I stand by my statement that I have not seen a single civil servant lose their job, yet have seen several APs lose their jobs for various reasons.

And I would argue with you about why there are so many civil servant openings right now--have you read all of the stories about everyone that was trying to retire by the end of June because of some pension law that was going to take effect July 1st? There was a story a while back about how this is the largest percentage of total staff to leave in a month in years. I'm pretty sure the "aggressive downsizing" is over with as well. Units all across campus are hiring for all sorts of positions--there are gobs and gobs of AP and faculty positions open right now as well. 

If anyone else (including you, Bulldogmojo) would like to weigh in, that'd be great. I most certainly don't know everything that goes on at UIUC--I can only tell what I personally know about.

Bulldogmojo wrote on July 15, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Yes we have lost 6 positions due to retirements and all those postions were closed behind them. When someone who is civil service gets disciplined, the Unions do get involved immediately that is what they are there for...representation. The University of Illinois has a history of terminating people under false pretenses in all walks of this university including civil service and AP's. It's rarely about the actual work and is ALWAYS personal.

They tried to roll out a "Performance Partnership Plan" http://shr.illinois.edu/ler/ppp.html  under the guise of encouraging the leadership of departments to be more encouraging to their staff but instead they turned the tenants of the plan around and essentially weaponized it to fast track the terminations of civil service employees. There is always a component of contention and to be completely honest, an element of sport for the leadership of this university in terminating someone regardless of classification. The management of any business, for profit or not, sets the tone of the workplace and civil service employees have earned the right to be suspicious and defensive when it comes to the viability of their employment in good economic times and bad.

There is an absurd game of economic musical chairs taking place in this country, in this state and at this university. When the music stops not everyone is going to have a seat except past and present University administration. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on July 13, 2012 at 1:07 am

Thanks for standing up, Bulldogmojo.

Sid Saltfork wrote on July 13, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Another scandal is coming to the U of I.  It involves a "conflict of interest" by a U of I administrator over a $4,600,000.00 contract.  The Board of Trustees have asked for an investigation.  Just when one scandal comes to an end, another pops up. 

rsp wrote on July 13, 2012 at 1:07 pm
Sid Saltfork wrote on July 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Thank you, rsp.  Constitutions whether national, or state ensure some rights.  Of course, it depends on who has the authority to interpret the constitutions; and the decisions they render based on their self interests.  Thanks again for the info.

CodySimmons wrote on July 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Salary plans are never straight-forward.  There are many competing interests.  As a visiting AP, I've had no salary adjustment in 4 years.  I work with faculty members and with civil service employees who, even in these hard times, have had at least two pay raises over the last four years.  Since visiting APs are working without a contract and both parties are supposedly still at the negotiating table, we are ineligible for any salary increase, merit or otherwise.  Very discouraging.  I'm disappointed with both sides.  At some point, one has to say "enough" and move on to where contributions are valued.

Foster wrote on July 15, 2012 at 7:07 am

Dear CodySimmons, I am confused about this and I hope you can offer me more information.  Is it not the supervisor's decision whether to offer a salary increase as in any company?  Independent of an official decree to issue salary increases to faculty or a labor union contract that legally requires salary increases to union members, can supervisors reward employees for their work with raises if their own unit budgets permit?  I am surprised if this is not possible.  I have worked for many years in universities and even when budgets were difficult we always could manage our own unit budgets and disperse increases to deserving employees.  It was usually more difficult for those in unions and I realize you are not in a union, but even in such cases it was possible.  I am new to this environment, but the posts I am reading on this seem to suggest that there is a single time at which all salary increases to all employees are issued.  How then does this university address such issues as retention when a good employee is being recruited at a different time of the year with a handsome salary from another university or when a good employee is contemplating an early retirement that would hamper a unit's succsess?

CodySimmons wrote on July 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm