A few weeks ago the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs (SCFA) invited FRPE to discuss the Resolution on Salary Reductions that we put forward at the March 25 Faculty Senate meeting. This Resolution was defeated. FRPE was pleased with our reception by the SCFA, which agreed to form a subcommittee to discuss the matter further. The product of these deliberation in the SCFA is the Resolution on Progressivity of Compensation Reductions, which was introduced and discussed at this week's Faculty Senate meeting. Although FRPE differs with the SCFA about the extent to which the administration introduced progressivity into the pay cuts, and also disagrees with its framing of merit raises as offsetting the regressive structure of the pay cuts, we applaud the effort to make progressivity a key component of future discussions regarding the structure of pay cuts.
The text of the resolution is appended below. At this stage it is unclear if the resolution will be brought forward for a vote. If you support this resolution, then consider taking some or all of the following actions. First, contact SCFA chair Kathryn Hanna (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell her that you want the SCFA to bring it to a vote in the fall. Second, contact your Faculty Senators and encourage them to support efforts to bring this resolution to a vote in the fall and to vote in favor of it should it come up for a vote. Don't kid yourself into thinking the Faculty Senate is a den of progressives--it is not. At the May 6 Faculty Senate meeting, a number of voices were raised against even this very modest proposal. If faculty do not convey our support for progressivity to our representatives, the resolution could die in committee or come to a vote and be defeated.
Resolution on Progressivity of Compensation Reductions
On March 25, 2010, the Faculty Senate voted to accept the President's proposal of temporary reductions in faculty compensation in FY 2011. The same proposal forms part of a more general plan of temporary reductions in compensation for all employee groups of the University, the purpose of which is to assist in covering a projected deficit in the University's FY 2011 budget. Following the March 25 meeting, the University Faculty Consultative Committee (FCC) asked the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs (SCFA), to consider alternative salary-reduction proposals that had been tabled at the Senate meeting on March 25. While the alternative proposals are no longer applicable to the plan for salary reductions in FY 2011, it was felt that they should be discussed by faculty governance bodies in case further temporary reductions should be deemed necessary in future fiscal years.
At its regular meeting on April 13, 2010, SCFA heard from three representatives of the faculty group that had earlier made the alternative proposals. In essence the alternative proposals call for more progressivity in any future plan of temporary salary reductions that may be considered. After discussion, a small sub-committee of SCFA was appointed to draft a resolution for consideration and possible adoption by the whole committee at its meeting on April 27. What follows is the resolution drafted by the subcommittee.
If temporary reductions in employee compensation, whether by means of furloughs or otherwise, should in the future be deemed necessary in order to balance the University's budget, SCFA recommends that such reductions be calculated on a substantially more progressive scale than that which was adopted for the reductions in FY 2011. The committee feels that lower paid employees should be assessed the least or none at all. Conversely, higher and the highest paid employees should be assessed according to a sliding scale that is more equitably proportional to their level of compensation. Additionally, if temporary reductions in compensation should be considered for adoption in future years, the committee urges that alternative models incorporating greater and lesser degrees of progressivity be discussed with appropriate Senate, Faculty, CAPA, Civil Service, and bargaining unit committees sufficiently early to enable substantive participation in the planning and decisional processes.
Members of SCFA recognize and applaud that some degree of progressivity was indeed incorporated in the plan of temporary pay reductions that has been adopted for FY 2011: specifically, (1) that the salaries of the highest level administrators are due to be assessed at twice the percentage of the level for all other employees; (2) that the assessments of bargaining unit and Civil Service employees will be more than offset by a concurrent raise of 2 percent; and (3) that the assessments of faculty and P&A employees may be partially offset by merit raises from a pool of 1 percent of the salary pool (i.e., 2 % deferred until January 2012). We also recognize and appreciate that the administration consulted with all employee groups (including Senate committees) in developing its reduction plan for FY 2011. It is in the spirit of these same principles of equity and consultation that we have passed this resolution.