- Our new contract will take effect once signed by Admin
- Faculty have an important role to play in distribution of raises via shared governance
- UICUF has prepared guidance on shared gov processes involved in raise distributions
- Questions/concerns about the implementation of these processes should be directed to UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com
- A printable PDF version of the following advisory is available here
The following is meant as friendly guidance to UICUF members and executive officers for implementing our new contract through shared governance. Wherever possible, we provide reference to Statutes, bylaws, and policy. We recognize that the University Administration will also be developing guidance for executive officers, which once published, we will review and reconcile any differences.
This document covers implementation of Article VI. Compensation, Leaves and Group Health, 1. Compensation, A. Salary Pool Increases, Salary Minimums and Professional Expense Reimbursement.
GENERAL GUIDANCE ON SHARED GOVERNANCE
The University Statutes lay out the governance structure of units within colleges including departments and schools. A common feature is the use of an elected committee made up of faculty to advise the executive officer (EO). These committees are critical to shared governance because they are expected to help shape how decisions are made that affect individual faculty and the whole. This includes policies and procedures used to determine merit raises and distribution of funds to address compression and equity concerns.
As a reminder, schools and departments with chairs have executive committees, while departments with heads have advisory committees. For more details, we recommend you read Article III and IV of the statutes. https://www.bot.uillinois.edu/governance/statutes/
SALARY POOL INCREASES
Both the Non-Tenure Track (NTT) and Tenure Track (TT) contracts include increases for 1) Merit and 2) Compression and Equity. The funds available are based on a percentage of the aggregated faculty salaries (i.e., the pool) of each bargaining unit (NTT and TT). There is no straight across-the-board increase. Instead the unit must decide how to distribute each pool through shared governance (i.e., the advisory/executive committee working with the executive officer). Below are descriptions of what each of these pools includes and suggestions for how to determine distribution of each pool.
Effective retroactively to August 16, 2018, the following will be available for each year of the contract:
- Merit: Pool based on 2% of total faculty salary of each bargaining unit (NTT and TT) in the department or the campus salary program, whichever is larger.
- Compression/Equity: Pool based on 2% of total faculty salary of each bargaining unit in the department.
Merit: Based on a UIC memo dated January 18, 2017, “Merit pay is a salary adjustment awarded to employees as recognition of their contribution towards meeting the goals and objectives of the department, college and university during the previous year.”
- This suggests that each department should have clearly stated goals and objectives (preferably published on their website), and some form of annual evaluation process that can be used to assess merit for each faculty member.
- Some, but not all departments, have Merit Review policies that lay out what is “counted” and how it is counted toward merit. We strongly recommend, to meet the expectations of shared governance, that all units adopt such policies.
Based on consultation with a few departments, some additional considerations include:
- Some advisory/executive committees assess merit in terms of how well each faculty member is meeting expectations, generally denoted as either “does not meet,” “meets,” or “exceeds” expectations.
- Some advisory/executive committees may also recommend the actual amount of merit increase as either a percent or dollar amount.
- Some recommend using a dollar amount instead of a percentage if the unit “values” merit equally. So, for example, if a unit provides a 2% increase for all who meet expectations regardless of salary, it would not be valued the same since 2% of $100,000 is $2,000, but 2% of $65,000 is $1,300. The alternative could be that each gets a fixed amount, say $1,600.
- Some recommend looking at merit over multiple years, recognizing that books and journal articles can take over a year to get published.
Also, although not tied to merit raises in a direct way, UIC policy on teaching evaluation encourages us – and our contract now requires us – to not solely rely on teaching evaluation scores when determining merit raises. https://uofi.app.box.com/s/llo4ucj48ubmhv40l44fhfz0yfu4y00v
Compression: There is no written university guidance on compression. A 2017 article by Jonathan Rees, professor of history at Colorado State University at Pueblo, describes compression as a shrinking pay gap between new hires and senior professors, “usually because institutions have to offer higher salaries to new people in order to remain competitive with the other offers those people might get.” A related problem is “salary inversion,” which is “when new hires actually make more than senior faculty. It happens after compression lasts a long time at an institution, without any adjustment to the salaries of senior professors, and it has become increasingly common in academia after many years of near-universal budget austerity.” https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1661-we-need-to-talk-about-our-salaries
Without clear guidance or the benefit of a formal compression study (which can take considerable time and is best done when a whole unit believes that it is compressed), it is best to discuss with your colleagues as to how you can assess your unit for compression and how to address it over the course of the contract. Here are some suggestions for what to take into consideration:
- How wide is the salary variance within each title category?
- How far apart is each title category average or median (i.e., what is the gap?)?
- Who was last promoted before 2012 (date of our first contract, which requires 10% minimum increase for promotion), and what was the salary increase at that promotion?
This AAUP article is a good reference for what the gap looks like in other Research 1 universities: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/04/11/aaups-annual-report-faculty-compensation-takes-salary-compression-and-more
The union can provide salary data for your unit, which is also publicly available through the Board of Trustees https://www.bot.uillinois.edu/resources/gray_book.
Equity: The UIC Faculty Handbook provides clear guidance on equity. Specifically, it says:
Faculty members who believe that their salary is not equitable may request a review. Because market factors can vary to a considerable degree from discipline to discipline, equity review petitioners should seek counterparts within their own discipline or, in the case of small departments, in closely related disciplines. To be acceptable for review, the petition must describe a discrepancy between the salary of the petitioner and the average of the appropriate counterparts that exceeds seven percent of the petitioner’s salary. https://facultyhandbook.uic.edu/compensation/
The review is to be initiated by the faculty member. The link above provides more details on the process once the petition is prepared. The union can help with the analysis of salary data.
All money from the Merit and Compression/Equity raise pools must be committed only to bargaining unit members (i.e., TT and full-time NTT faculty.) None of these funds may be used to increase salaries for department personnel outside our bargaining units (e.g. executive officers and staff).
The new contracts have established new salary minimums for both TT and NTT:
- Minimum salary for TT: Assistant Professor ($65,000); Associate Professor ($71,500); Professor ($78,650).
- Minimum salary for NTT: Instructor, Lecturer, Clinical Assistant Professor, or Research Assistant Professor ($50,000); Senior Instructor, Senior Lecturer, Clinical Associate Professor, or Research Associate Professor ($55,000); Clinical Professor or Research Professor ($60,500).
This dollar amount is based on a 9-month contract paid over a 12-month period. Those faculty with a different appointment will be adjusted.
An important point of process negotiated in the contract is that while the university requires any merit raise be applied first, any compression and equity will be applied after the minimum raise.
Also, for certain awards like the Teaching Recognition Program which offers an increment that is added to base salary, the increment is added after the salary minimum has been raised.
Retro-pay: The contract begins August 16, 2018. The union bargained for retroactive pay raises that begin with the contract starting date. This includes merit, compression and equity, and minimum salaries. These raises should be determined as soon as possible upon the official signing of the contract. Expect that these retroactive raises will take a couple of months for payroll and HR to process, and based on the last time we had retro pay (2014 for 2 years), you can expect mistakes– especially if you have research grants or are paid from multiple sources.
Pay for 2019-2020: The administration is assuming the merit pool will be 2%; however, we have not yet received information from the UI president about the campus salary program. Based on past practices, this is announced in June.
PROFESSIONAL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT
New to this contract is an additional $600 per faculty member for travel-related professional development including but not limited to conferences, professional meetings, and training. Specially, we now have for each year of the contract the following:
NTT: Funds will be allocated each year of this Agreement so that each bargaining unit member shall receive up to $600 for expenses related only to research and/or teaching-related professional development, to be reimbursed in accordance with University policy and guidelines. In the event that a bargaining unit member has an opportunity to travel for professional meetings/conferences, specific to their employment duties, then they may be eligible for an additional $600. Pre-approval for the additional funding must be obtained from the Unit Executive Officer prior to the event and, if approved, will be reimbursed in accordance with University policy and guidelines. These funds supplement departmental professional development budgets, if any, rather than replace them.
TT: Funds will be allocated each year of this Agreement so that each bargaining unit member shall receive up to $900 for expenses related only to research and/or teaching-related professional development, to be reimbursed in accordance with University policy and guidelines. In the event that a bargaining unit member has an opportunity to travel for professional meetings/conferences, specific to their employment duties, then they may be eligible for an additional $600. Pre-approval for the additional funding must be obtained from the Unit Executive Officer prior to the event and, if approved, will be reimbursed in accordance with University policy and guidelines. These funds supplement departmental professional development budgets, if any, rather than replace them.
These funds are eligible to be reimbursed retroactively. The “retroactivity clause” of the contracts provides for the following:
The increase to professional development expense reimbursement funds, as referenced above, shall apply retroactively only to expenses already incurred during the 2018-19 academic year up to the date this Agreement is executed.
Regarding retroactive use of these funds for 2018-19, our advice is the following:
There is going to be some gray area depending on how departments set their internal policies, but we think you should be able to spend this money up until at least the end of the fiscal year, June 30th.
HOWEVER, we strongly encourage you to get any expenditure pre-approved by your department through whatever method is normally used. If you can’t secure pre-approval for something you believe should be covered, like conference travel, let us know so that we can start cataloging rejections and reasons given for those rejections. Since there is much variability in how departments handle professional development fund distribution, we hope over time to start addressing those inconsistencies.