UPDATED AT 5 P.M.
CHAMPAIGN — Most University of Illinois employees can expect to receive average raises of 2.5 percent later this summer, an amount that is in line with those in recent years.
The university's merit-based general salary program calls for raises of 2.5 percent, effective with the new academic year in August, President Bob Easter announced Monday.
The 2.5 percent raise is merit-based and can vary by employee and department. What union members will receive depends on the union's contract language.
"Because the salary program will determine raises based on merit and performance, a significant range of increases is expected within units," Easter said in an e-mail sent to employees.
Department heads and other managers can award an additional 1 percent to address any compression, market, equity or retention situations. However, average salary increases should not exceed 3.5 percent of an employee's salary base, Easter wrote in a letter to chancellors and provosts. Promotions are not considered part of these calculations.
Easter has asked senior administrators to monitor any individual salary increase over 10 percent and, as has been the practice in recent years, will review any raises over 7 percent for senior administrators. For the current fiscal year, 286 employees across the three campuses and university administration received raises over 10 percent; 121 were on the Urbana campus, according to the university. The UI has about 15,000 employees.
The cost for the 2.5 percent merit-based program will be $27.6 million. An additional $11 million has been budgeted for the additional 1 percent to address the compression, market and retention cases.
The money for the raises is expected to come from a combination of funds: the state appropriation, tuition dollars and institution funds, which is money generated when researchers receive grants and contracts and give a portion to administration.
Averages for the merit raises have ranged from 2.5 percent to 3 percent in recent years. The amounts are typically announced in the summer.
The 2.5 percentage "is based on what the president and senior administrators think is moderate, but fair, and can help the university provide a competitive compensation program so we can retain and recruit the best faculty and staff," UI spokesman Tom Hardy said.
In a letter to chancellors and provosts, Easter raised the possibility that given fiscal uncertainties in the state budget, " we may need to exercise some contingencies in budgeting and operations," Hardy said.
That entails identifying areas within a budget that could be reduced. Easter however has not yet asked units to do that, Hardy said.
The state's appropriation for the 2015 fiscal year is $663 million, roughly flat from 2014.
"A competitive employee compensation program is essential to recruit and retain the top faculty and staff who are the core of our excellence. It is among our highest priorities. Despite continuing uncertainty about the financial circumstances of the State, I am pleased that the careful stewardship of our resources has put us in a position to offer a reasoned salary program for our employees," Easter wrote in his message.
Average raises for the merit-based salary program (not including additional money for compression/retention, etc.)
By fiscal year.
2015 2.5 percent
2014 2.75 percent
2013 2.5 percent
2012 3 percent
2011 0 percent
2010 0 percent
2009 2 percent