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September 25, 1997

BPC wants higher salary hikes than Pitt budget request to state specifies

According to a University Senate committee, Pitt faculty who perform satisfactorily during the current fiscal year should get a 3.5 percent cost-of-living raise next year.

Also, the administration should give "a very high priority" next year to allocating adequate funds for merit, equity and market increases, the Senate's budget policies committee (BPC) stated in its annual faculty salary recommendation.

BPC sent its recommendation to Chancellor Mark Nordenberg last week as the administration was finalizing Pitt's state appropriation request for next year.

But the request that the administration sent to Harrisburg this week proposed a lower compensation increase than the one recommended by BPC — a total of 3.5 percent for all categories of raises, including cost-of-living increases.

BPC based its recommendation on Pitt's official salary policy, which states that Pitt should provide an annual pool of money for salary increases with four components: maintenance of real salary for satisfactory performance; merit raises; increases to promote equity of pay regardless of race and gender; and market adjustments to make Pitt salaries more competitive with those of peer universities.

"The policy ties the first component — maintenance of real salary — to the inflation rate for the preceding calendar year," the BPC recommendation states. "Present estimates anticipate an increase of about 2.2 percent for calendar year 1997. However, because the size of this component in Pitt's FY 1998 salary pool (2 percent) fell short of the relevant inflation rate (3.3 percent), we recommend that the University take advantage of the current low rate of inflation to make up for this 1.3 percent shortfall in maintenance of real salary by including in its plans for the FY 1999 increase a cost-of-living component of 3.5 percent." BPC also recommended that Pitt give "a very high priority to providing adequate funds for the three other components next year, since the 1 percent available in FY 1998 is acknowledged by administrators as well as faculty to have fallen short of what was needed to recognize and reward meritorious performance meaningfully and also address both equity and market needs."

— Bruce Steele

Filed under: Feature,Volume 30 Issue 3

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