Academic Staff Assembly Document #426
March 18, 2010
Implications of Category A Salary Maximum for Academic Staff
Submitted by the Compensation and Economic Benefits Committee
October 12, 2009 (Revised January 19, 2010)
Category A Academic Staff members are the only unclassified university employees for whom a salary cap is imposed. Similar limits to the amount employees may earn are not imposed on Category B or C Academic Staff, nor are they imposed on the faculty. This situation is inherently unfair, as a subset of Category A Academic Staff members (those very near their salary caps) are unable to receive salary adjustments to reflect their productivity and to better align their salaries with market rates. In particular, due to the salary cap, supervisors are unable to give Category A Academic Staff whose salaries are at or near the salary cap, any more than the average increase in salaries authorized for all Academic Staff. CEBC’s analysis of data from the 2008-2009 academic year found that 486 permanent Category A Staff are within a 10% salary adjustment of their salary cap. 278 are within a 5% salary adjustment. Those individuals constitute 33.8% and 19.3% respectively of permanent Academic Staff who are not promotable within a title series and who do not have the extraordinary salary range (ESR) exemption from the salary cap.
Our analysis of the ESR titles reveals that nearly 20% of permanent Category A Academic Staff have ESR titles. Salaries of Academic Staff with ESR titles are not constrained by the salary cap. This indicates the UW’s acknowledgement that the salary caps imposed as a result of the 1986-87 Hayes-Hill study are inappropriately low for a large subset of academic staff for which more recent market studies have been conducted to give them an ESR title. Salaries for over 80% of academic staff have not been reviewed for the need for ESR adjustments. As a result, a vast majority of Academic Staff are being inequitably treated by the ESR approach to addressing the problem.
The CEBC recommends that ASEC work with campus and System administrations to resolve the salary cap problem for Category A Academic Staff, as described in this report. Our recommended solutions in priority order are:
(1) removing the salary caps
(2) gradually and systematically increasing the salary maxima
(3) conducting a new market study on all permanent Category A Academic Staff titles
(4) conducting a market study on a stratified random sample of permanent Category A Academic Staff.
CEBC recognizes the work by Jim Wollack in preparing this report.
Whether or not stated, all references to Category A Academic Staff should be interpreted as permanent staff.
Category A titles include administrative and professional positions as opposed to Category B titles that include instructional and higher-level research positions.