2 percent raises for nonunion UI employees kick in Aug. 16

2 percent raises for nonunion UI employees kick in Aug. 16

CHAMPAIGN — Less than two weeks after Illinois approved a budget with a 2 percent funding increase for higher education, University of Illinois President Tim Killeen announced raises averaging 2 percent for nonunion UI faculty and staff.

The merit-based raises take effect Aug. 16 for the 2018-19 academic year, Killeen wrote Tuesday in a mass email to employees.

“I am grateful for the recent approval of a full-year state budget that helps provide the funding and stability to recognize your hard work and commitment,” Killeen wrote.

“The merit-based program will be applicable to most academic and civil-service employees, except for employees whose wages are set through the collective bargaining process,” Killeen wrote. “Those employees may be eligible for an increase based upon the negotiation process and the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement.”

The 2 percent increase refers to the total pool of money available for raises, so some units or employees could receive more or less.

The three campuses in the UI system — Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign — are encouraged to use the raises to help retain employees by addressing “compression, market, equity, and retention issues,” Killeen said.

“Examples are adjustments to retain someone who has a competitive job offer from a peer institution, increases for high-performing employees who have fallen behind more recently hired colleagues, compensation to correct equity issues, etc.” said UI spokesman Tom Hardy.

But Killeen also asked chancellors to watch out for any individual raises of more than 7 percent.

Last July, Killeen announced 1 percent raises, following mid-year 2 percent raises last February.

Before that, Killeen had put the raises on hold for two years as the state-budget stalemate reduced funding for higher education by $750 million over those years.

With the General Assembly approving a state budget for the second year in a row and this year’s budget providing the UI system an additional $11.6 million for day-to-day operations, Killeen said he hopes stability has returned.

“It is my hope that we are in the process of developing a more stable, reliable and predictable financial environment for our faculty and staff,” Killeen wrote in a separate email to deans, directors and department heads. “As this goal is achieved, it will be possible to put together multi-year plans for our top priorities.”

While the raises announced Tuesday don’t apply to all employees, Hardy said a 1 percent raise for all employees would cost about $14 million, “so 2 percent would be about $28 million.”