Organization lobbies for higher faculty pay

By Kelly Canright

Arizona Daily Wildcat

While UA faculty members earn 15 percent under the national salary average, an Arizona community college district has garnered a pay increase with the help of a professors' organization.

The Maricopa Community College District Faculty obtained significant salary increases with the help of the American Association of University Professors.

Last year, there was a freeze in pay and Maricopa Community District faculty were denied their vertical step pay increase, said Freddie Antanilla, the president of the Maricopa Community College faculty association.

Litigation was filed against the district on Oct. 12, 1993 for last year's pay, Antanilla said.

Beginning in January, all faculty will receive a one percent pay increase. Faculty will actually receive a one-half percent pay increase because the school year is half over, Antanilla said.

"There will be a seven percent increase in pay for those who are eligible," she said.

Only about half the faculty is eligible for the seven percent increase because about half of the faculty has already reached the top of the salary schedule, Antanilla said.

"The association with the AAUP has been helpful," she said.

The University of Arizona Faculty Senate has not formally requested meetings with the AAUP, said Carol Bernstein, the president of the AAUP Arizona conference.

The AAUP is a registered lobby organization and the UA faculty is forbidden by law to lobby, Bernstein said.

"There is a non-profit chapter that does not lobby and the faculty can use that," Bernstein said.

"The AAUP looks after due process on campus," Bernstein said. "When someone does not receive the appropriate salary, they can go to the AAUP, who will explain what recourse can be taken.

"I do believe if the faculty developed a more organized system, they would be more successful," Bernstein said.

"Legislators were receptive to the interests of the scholars and reasoned argument. They are not being ignored. Further organized effort would be of fruit," she added.

The UA is considered to be a "type one" doctoral institution. The average beginning salary of an assistant professor at the UA is $41,100.

"We went to the legislature for NAU, ASU, and U of A and tried to present a unified position which U of A was against. (Provost Paul) Sypherd was holding out for merit pay," Bernstein said. Merit pay is pay based on evaluations of faculty performance.

"There is no accountability. Only favored faculty can wield power in many of the pay raises that are awarded," Bernstein said.

Maricopa Community College used the AAUP for their benefit, and is pleased with the result.

"They did an analysis of our policy manual and determined places that were not up to standard. They hired experts to analyze the use of the budget for the last five years," Antanilla said. "They provided training for a negotiations team and brought an awareness to our faculty about academic freedom."

"It has given a boost to the morale of the faculty having one of the oldest organizations in education support us," Antanilla said.

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