A University-wide salary increase will go into effect during the first pay period of the new fiscal or academic year.
This is the first salary increase since 2007, and eligible faculty and staff will begin to receive it after July 1 or Aug. 22, depending on whether their salary is spread across a nine-month or 12-month period.
ASU uses a performance-based salary increase model, which rewards faculty and staff members who are high-performing and contribute to the growth and success of the University, according to an email sent to faculty Wednesday evening.
Kevin Salcido, associate vice president and chief human resources officer, said nearly all faculty and staff are eligible for the pay increase. Student teachers, those who were recently hired and those who work on a year-to-year basis are not eligible.
Each college will distribute salary increases from a 3 percent merit pool.
Salcido said this means every salary in each department will be added up and multiplied by 3 percent, which will give administrators the amount of money with which they will have to work.
The money will then be distributed throughout the department. Depending on performance levels, some faculty and staff may receive more than 3 percent and some may receive less or none at all.
For the most part, evaluations are based on performance levels, contributions to the University and amount of time worked at the school. Evaluations vary from department to department.
Salcido said though faculty and staff deemed as high-performing individuals can be rewarded more than a 3 percent increase, the increase won’t be much larger because of the number of people who need to be compensated.
“(The University) must make sure we reward high performance,” he said. “You want to make sure you make the distinction in your salary increase based on performance.”
Salcido said ASU uses a performance-based method as opposed to an across-the-board method, because the school is moving to a performance-based culture and is evaluated by outside sources such as the Arizona Board of Regents based on output and results.
In February, ABOR approved a policy ending year-to-year contracts for staff and administrators.
The across-the-board salary increase method is being less frequently used by large organizations and companies, he said.
“Most large organizations that are in a competitive environment like we are realize that the best way to use your compensation dollars is to reward performance to the best degree that you can,” Salcido said.
He said funding for the salary increase comes from general operational funds, which come from different sources such as state funding.
This is the first pay increase in six years, because the previous economic period did not allow for it, especially after the school faced a 6 percent state funding reduction, Salcido said.
In the 2008-09 school year, all faculty and staff were put on furlough, which required them to take eight to 12 unpaid days off.
Salcido said the school is in no danger of facing another furlough in the near future.
“The economic conditions have evolved to the point where we can find some money to make these merit adjustments and reinvest in salarires,” he said.
Carol Comito, president of the Tempe Staff Council, said the pay increase is good news, but it being based on performance levels may or may not be effective.
“In all honesty, it is hard to determine how it will play out,” she said. “We are happy that there is a raise, and we are hoping that it is substantial. Right now, we do not know how it is going to affect every single staff person.”
She said some people may feel like a performance-based salary increase can be biased because performance levels can be subjective.
“People tend to like people that are similar to them,” Comito said.”It is human nature. If you have an employee that you’ve clicked with, maybe you will rate them higher. Hopefully people will be as fair as they can be.”
School of Letters and Sciences professor Rosemarie Dombrowski said faculty at the Downtown campus are frequently acknowledged in their annual reviews for their teaching and service.
She said though they are praised, it has not been reflected in their pay checks in more than five years.
“I’m thrilled that some form of merit bonus or merit raise is coming our way,” she said. “At the end of the day, this will only make faculty more motivated to provide high quality education. I don’t see it as a punitive system in the least.”
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