Archive for March, 2001
by Myrna Hays
Robert Meister from UCSC took office as President of CUCFA, replacing Mary Ann Mason. She has been appointed Dean of the Graduate Division at UCB. In addition, CUCFA appointed Warren Gold, UCSF, to serve as a second Vice President in charge of Health issues for the Council. Charles P. Nash, UCD, continues as Vice President for External Affairs (lobbying in Sacramento).
by Myrna Hays
Definitive legislative action on UC’s 2001-02 budget must await the May Revise when the state will have a better idea of how much the energy crisis and the recent economic slowdown will affect state revenue. The Assembly has not acted yet on the Governor’s budget proposal, but here are some actions taken by the Senate Budget Sub-committee for Education that may be of interest to UC faculty:
Budget Augmentation Requests:
The committee heard requests for additional appropriations to UC and CSU in order to increase compensation levels for faculty and/or staff. Action on these items will not be taken until after the May Revise. Professor Charles P. Nash, representing the FA, testified as follows:
The Governor’s budget includes funding for an overall 3% increase in faculty salaries, based on the UC administration’s best estimate of the amount required to maintain “parity” with our “Comparison Eights.” Although a final figure is not yet available, a preliminary report issued in February by the California Postsecondary Education Commission suggests that the pertinent increase is more likely to be 4%. The FA urges the Legislature to augment the UC budget appropriately.
UC Vice President for the Budget, Larry Hershman, requested a $20M augmentation: $6M to bring faculty salaries to parity and $14M to make staff salaries more competitive. UC had included the $14M in their original budget request. Hershman stated that these funds would provide a 1% additional increase in compensation for faculty and staff—a high priority for UC.
Budget Action Items:
· Approved three of the four UC Institutes of Science and Technology and placed the fourth (Center for IT, led by UC Berkeley in collaboration with UCDavis, UCSantaCruz, and UCMerced) on the checklist with high priority for funding in May.
· Approved $160.4 million for capital outlay for UCMerced, plus Budget Bill Language requiring UC to come back to the Legislature if the site changes and to provide copies of preliminary planning documents to the Legislature prior to the expenditure of any funds for working drawings and/or construction. Approved $2 million for UCMerced faculty recruitment.
· Placed funding for the following on the checklist for May consideration: Engineering Research ($5M), Environmental Science Research ($5M), Continued development of Internet2 ($18M), Deferred Maintenance, Technology, and Libraries ($20M). [Nash also presented a “white paper” to the committee stating FA support for this last item.]
· Approved $8M for UC to strengthen the quality of undergraduate education (hire more faculty and reduce the student/faculty ratio) despite objections from the LAO that UC could reduce the student/faculty ratio simply by requiring existing faculty to teach more undergraduate courses.
· Adopted Budget Bill Language to counter a recommendation from the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) for a phased-in funding mechanism for Year-round education whereby UC and CSU only receive the funding appropriated for marginal cost if they increase enrollments. The BBL requires UC and CSU to file reports with the Legislature regarding fees charged and enrollment figures for summer school. UC agreed also to BBL to establish five-year capital outlay plans and to not limit summer enrollment.
Capital Outlay Projects:
· Approved $2.2 million for the UC Berkeley Stanley Hall Seismic Mitigation project despite objections from the LAO. Approved all other GO bond-funded UC projects except for Davis Veterinary Medicine, Riverside Heckman Center, UCSF-Fresno Medical Center, and San Diego Pharmacy School. These four projects will be discussed at the committee’s April 25, 2001 hearing.
The Differing Effective Dates Of Colas And Merits Really Matter (But Don’t Expect A Change Any Time Soon)
by Charles P. Nash
In 1994-5, the Regents used a portion of the funds that the State appropriated for faculty and staff cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to repay faculty merits that were approved but not funded in 1991-92. As a result, the effective date for the 1994-95 and (as things have turned out) all subsequent faculty and staff COLAs was shifted from July 1 to Oct. 1.
Because the state’s fiscal year begins on July 1, every Regents’ and Governor’s budget now includes an item to cover the three-months “continuation cost” of the prior year’s salary increases along with another one to institute new (COLA’d) salary scales that would take effect on October 1. In the current draft budget the continuation cost is about $19.5 million. The budgets also include requests for faculty and staff merit increases that take effect on July 1 rather than October 1.
This three-months mismatch in starting dates has an ongoing effect on the incomes of all faculty and staff. Published salary scale data show that over a 24-months period beginning on July 1, 1999, a regular ranks Assistant Professor (9 mos) whose one-step merit increase took effect on that date earned $850 less than he/she would have received if COLAS and merit increases had both kicked in on July 1. Instead, three different salary scales came into play: three months on the 1998 scale, 12 on the 1999 scale, and 9 on the 2000 scale. For an individual who was promoted from Associate (III) to Full Rank (I) the 36-months’ discrepancy is $1525 and for a merit from Professor (III) to Professor (IV) the difference is $2025, or $675 per year.
It is fair to say that while a faculty member is moving up through the system, the losses noted above are all realized. It is not quite so clear what should be said about a faculty or staff member who is static vs. the ladder for a number of years. With this individual there is the initial 3-months loss of the “new” topped-out salary, but each subsequent COLA after that spans 12 calendar months unless the individual retires or resigns. If the departure date is on a June 30 there is another 3 months’ realized loss, but if it is a September 30 then only the first one on the “plateau” matters.
The retirement date one chooses is clearly important since one’s retirement income is based on the average salary earned during the highest consecutive 36 months of service. (Typically at career’s end.) According to the previous and current published scales, the average monthly salary difference between a June 30 and a September 30 retirement date for a “static” Step (VI) Full Professor is about $65.
The Faculty Associations have discussed the consequences of the merits/COLAs mismatch with both academic and budgetary staff members in the Office of the President, who clearly realize what is going on and perhaps may be marginally sympathetic. However, our clear impression is that even before the electric power mess blew up they were unenthusiastic about raising the issue of restoring a July 1 date for COLAs either in-house or in the Legislature. The reason for that is that UC has once again entered into a four-year partnership with the Governor that assures a predictable budget growth in return for certain committments from UC. Given that fact, there is little if any “new” money up for grabs out there, and the ca. $19 million that would be needed to bring the starting date for everything back to July 1 would have to come at the expense of other budgetary items that have gotten there after elaborate consultation within UC itself. We suspect that it would take a concerted and united effort by all the constituencies—staff and academic unions plus the Academic Senate—to make this a high priority item. The DFA will continue to investigate this issue. We welcome your comments.