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UA salary increases deviate from original plan

By Sarah Battest
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday Jan. 15, 2002

Staff and faculty will receive raises, but format of increases vary

After months of deliberation, UA employees will receive across-the-board salary increases in April, but faculty increases will not be in line with recommendations that were approved by the Faculty Senate in October.

Originally, the Faculty Senate had requested that all faculty receive a 5 percent increase, if the $1,500 increase suggested by the University Compensation Advisory Team provided a smaller than 5 percent raise. UCAT's proposed $1,800 increase would only be 2.5 percent of the average faculty salary, which is $60,000.

For faculty, UCAT's plan will stand, and all faculty will receive a $1,500 increase. They will also have the opportunity to earn more through merit increases based on employee evaluations.

Salary increases for staff members, which do not apply to fulltime faculty, will not be based at all on a merit evaluation.

Although faculty will not be guaranteed 5 percent, Provost George Davis said all staff, but not faculty, will receive $1,500 or a 5 percent increase, whichever is greater.

Professor of English Peter Medine proposed the 5 percent change in October, and he plans to resurrect the issue at next month's faculty senate meeting.

Student employees will also receive a 5 percent increase, but the $1,500 minimum does not apply to this group.

The increases will raise the amount given to all University of Arizona employees above the livable wage suggested by the county, which is $8 per hour, UA President Peter Likins said.

The Arizona Legislature decided just last month to spare planned state employee raises from statewide budget cuts.

The University Compensation Advisory Team, which has struggled for months to distribute the increase, agreed on these recommendations, and Davis said they will finalize the plan within the week.

He said they must still decide which employees will be considered eligible for salary increases and whether or not to raise the salaries for vacant positions.

Despite the Legislature's call for UA to cut more funds than it had hoped, Likins said he was pleased the Legislature avoiding cutting salary increases. The university will have to cut 4.56 percent from its budget rather than the 4 percent officials had expected.

"I think this past special session, as tough as it was, had an outcome that we can feel okay about," Likins said.

The additional 0.56 percent cuts - or just under $2 million - will be cut through alternative measures.

Campaign Arizona, the UA's billion-dollar fundraiser, will hand $156,000 of its operating budget back to UA. The campaign already gave back $1 million in October.

In addition, $400,000, which was meant to be used to decrease the workloads of graduate assistants, will be given back.


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