UC Budget Issues for 2001-02 and 2002-03
As many of you may know, the Faculty Associations representatives closely monitor the budget process for UC, particularly in relation to issues of faculty concern, such as salaries. As the 2001-02 budget unfolded in the spring, we alerted our members to the strong possibility that faculty salaries would suffer. We predicted that merits would be maintained and that COLAs might be as little as 0.5%. Let us now update you on information from UCOP regarding salary issues and other budget issues of interest so that we may solicit input from you on our lobbying efforts for the 2002-03 budget process. Current economic realities will make that budget planning even more difficult. Many of you already know from messages from the Academic Council Chair and others that budget reductions are being considered for UC in the areas of Employee compensation, State funding for summer school, Enrollment growth funding, Student fees, and Targeted cuts to special programs. In this memo, we will also address these issues as they relate to the Faculty Association efforts. We ask you to respond to the memo by telling us your priorities in these various funding areas so that we can represent the interests of our membership in our lobbying effort.
Faculty and Staff Salaries:
Salary scales for the Oct. 1, 2001 range adjustment of academic salaries have now been issued; these are now available at http://manuals.ucdavis.edu/apm/690.htm
Salaries for non-represented academic employees have been range adjusted by 0.5%, across-the-board, including above-scale salaries. Off-scale increments will be reviewed and adjusted by 0.5%, if, when rounded to the nearest $100, the adjustment results in an increase.
Merits have been maintained. Vice President Hershman stated at the Oct. Regents’ meeting that UC learned from their experience during the budget crunch in the 1990s when a judge determined that it would be discriminatory to deny merits to one group of faculty members in any given year since faculty are only eligible for merits every three years. That suit came about as a result of Faculty Association action.
Faculty salaries now lag about 3.5% in relation to our comparison institutions. Although final figures will not be available for 2002-03 until February, UCOP is projecting that faculty salaries may lag as much as 6 or 7% in the 2002-03 year, depending on how our comparison institutions are also affected by the economic slump. Our understanding is that in the budget being prepared for Regents’ review in November, UC will seek state funding for regular merits, plus 4% for salaries now and an additional 2.25% restoration of funds when the economy improves. And Hershman stated that UC will probably not get all that we ask for; his question is how big a lag can be allowed. We know from past history that it takes a long time to recoup funds and to regain parity once our salaries begin to lag.
Staff salaries: UC believes that it must treat staff the same as faculty. States funding for their merits plus COLAs for 2001-02 equals 2%, to be awarded according to whatever agreements are made within collective bargaining. UC had requested much more for staff in the 2001-02 budget. UC, the Faculty Association, and the employee unions all lobbied strongly, but neither staff nor faculty received what was desired. The Legislature often compares UC employees to other state employees; their few “increases” were in the form of reducing their contribution to their retirement funds. This action may help to account for the recently-announced proposal for a CAP accrual credit for UC employees that is due for discussion at the November Regents’ meeting.
Enrollment Growth Funding: The Faculty Association has strongly supported recent efforts to regain funding lost during the 1990s when UC continued to accept all eligible students despite state funding that provided for only a portion of the additional students who came to us. Hershman asked the Regents to consider whether we should limit enrollment to match funding.
Student Fees: In the past the Faculty Association has not taken a stance on student fee issues. Legislators have felt very strongly that fees should be low; they have supported fee buy-outs to keep them low. But, Hershman pointed out that UC fees are low; they are $2000 below those of our comparison institutions. Regents are concerned that poor economic times are not good times to raise fees, but many of them felt that fee increases may be necessary to meet funding needs.
Summer Enrollment: Hershman said that the long-term goal to make summer term fully state-funded, like the other three quarters, may need to be slowed down. . So far, “full state-funding” has been provided to UCB, UCLA, and UCB. The plan was to fund the remaining campuses beginning in the summer of 2002.
Targeted cuts to budget augmentations for special programs: In recent years while the economy has been strong, the Governor and the Legislature have provided sizable augmentations to UC’s core funding to provide for special needs. Some were proposed by UC, others by the Legislators. Many relate to UC helping to improve K-12 education and to providing outreach activities. Others are related to research funding requests. A problem is that the State had the money because of stock market capital gains and strong consumer confidence that led to relatively unbridled spending. Legislators seem to have been making long-term plans with essentially one-time dollars. Now the gains have turned into losses and spending is way down–a double-barreled hit. Hershman recognized that it will be very controversial to try to decrease the level of some of these programs, but everything must be on the table. In considering how and whether to do so, he also stressed that UC must work with the Governor and the Legislature. We agree and will be advocating strongly for positions that support the interests of the DFA membership.
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