Merit raises planned for faculty and staff

UC faculty and non-represented staff earning annual salaries of less than $200,000 will be eligible for merit raises under a plan announced today by the Office of the President.

In a letter to system chancellors, President Mark Yudof described the plan as a tool to help campuses recruit and retain faculty, declaring that “university quality cannot be compromised, and our excellent professors and researchers are the fountainhead of that quality.”

Noting that nonrepresented staff have not received salary increases in nearly four years — and that, after taking pay cuts through last year’s furlough program, they are now seeing their take-home pay reduced due to higher benefit contributions — Yudof cited the desire to demonstrate that “we understand and appreciate how hard they have worked, through difficult times, on behalf of the University of California.”

The plan stems from a November vote by the Board of Regents to provide a pool for merit raises as part of the UC system’s 2011-12 budget. Yudof said the pool would be set at 3 percent of the overall base pay in the eligible categories, adding that the program is designed to give chancellors “the flexibility you need to administer it fairly going forward.” Anticipating the president’s action, UC Berkeley has set aside funds for raises in this year’s budget.

Besides excluding members of senior management — a group Yudof estimates at about 400 people — staff who began work after Jan. 1, 2011, or whose salaries have been adjusted recently as a result of promotions, are ineligible for the merit increases. The letter also notes that “most of our colleagues who are represented by unions, by virtue of existing, negotiated contracts, have received regular pay increases throughout this long-running fiscal crisis.”

Yudof’s letter is available for download at the At Your Service website.