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July 26, 2001

Satisfactory work to net 2.5% raise

The breakdown of staff and faculty salary raises for fiscal year 2002 was announced last week by Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg.

The 4 percent increase in the pool of money for salary increases, which was approved by Pitt's Board of Trustees June 28, will be allocated as follows: 2.5 percent for maintenance of salaries of employees judged to be doing satisfactory work; 1.0 percent for unit-level merit increases, and 0.5 for market and equity needs to be distributed to particular units by senior officers.

Salary raises will show up in end-of-September paychecks, retroactive to July 1.

In announcing the distribution of the salary raise pool, the chancellor noted that the University Planning and Budgeting Committee (UPBC) — an advisory group of faculty, staff, administrators and students chaired by Provost James V. Maher — had submitted two plans for distributing the 4 percent increase in salary funds. (See June 28 University Times.) "The members of the UPBC were evenly split with respect to its allocation and tendered two recommendations," Nordenberg wrote in a July 20 campus update. He said that of the two recommendations, he chose the one that was endorsed by the University Senate budget policies committee.

UPBC had recommended a 4 percent increase in the overall salary pool on the assumption that the commonwealth would raise Pitt's base budget by at least 3 percent, Nordenberg wrote. Instead, Pitt got a 1.2 percent increase in base budget and a 0.6 percent increase in its overall appropriation, Nordenberg pointed out.

He added that the appropriation was "a clear reminder that Pennsylvania, in the funding of its public universities, has been, and apparently will remain, a low appropriation/high tuition state."

The chancellor wrote that the less-than-hoped-for state appropriation this year required a 7.5 percent tuition increase, Pitt's largest in 13 years. "However, sharing the UPBC's expressed belief that maintaining salary competitiveness should be a high institutional priority, everyone has worked hard to avoid sacrificing the proposed 4 percent increase pool," Nordenberg wrote.

–Peter Hart

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