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June 28, 2001

Salary pool increase of 4% planned

The pool of money for Pitt salaries is ex- pected to increase by 4 percent for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg said he will decide in coming weeks how the 4 percent will be distributed among four components: cost-of-living (defined by Pitt's salary policy as "maintenance of real salary for satisfactory performance"), merit, and centrally allocated market and equity raises.

Nordenberg won't lack for advice on how to spread the money around.

The University Planning and Budgeting Committee (UPBC) — an advisory group of faculty, staff, administrators and students, chaired by Provost James Maher — has submitted two plans for distributing salary funds to faculty and staff.

Half of UPBC's members recommended splitting the 4 percent as follows: 2.5 percent for maintenance of real salary for satisfactory performance, 1 percent for merit, and 0.5 percent for market and equity raises. (A faculty group, the University Senate budget policies committee, recommended this same split but limited its proposal to faculty salaries.) An equal number of UPBC members supported the following split: 2 percent for maintenance of real salary for satisfactory performance, 1.5 percent for merit, and 0.5 percent for market and equity.

The Senate committee noted that a 4 percent increase in the salary budget won't be enough to meet all of Pitt's salary goals, given that last year's inflation rate was 3.4 percent. "Nor is it likely to enhance the competitiveness of Pitt's salaries or enable progress toward our goal of average salaries of at least the median for each rank of our peer institutions in the Association of American Universities," the Senate committee wrote.

"Even with a maintenance component of 2.5 percent, it

is evident that many faculty performing satisfactorily or meritoriously are likely again to receive reductions in real pay. It cannot be good for the University if significant numbers of hard-working, deserving faculty and staff are repeatedly required to sacrifice their material well-being in order to subsidize significantly larger increases for colleagues or expenditures for other purposes, no matter how worthy in themselves."

— Bruce Steele

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