by Fernando Quintero
Berkeley staff will get a pay increase and faculty salaries also will rise as part of a three-year-plan to restore their pay to competitive levels following the July 15 signing of the state budget by Gov. Wilson.
Thanks to a healthier state economy, the state budget also allows the University of California to keep general student fees frozen for the second consecutive year and provides funding for several initiatives including expansion of academic outreach programs and increased university-industry cooperative research.
"This budget is good news for Berkeley," said Chancellor Tien. "During one of the most difficult periods in California's history, we not only survived, we ended up ranked the nation's top research university. We now can work together to strengthen and safeguard our tradition of excellence and diversity."
The budget allows UC to go forward with its plan to restore by 1998-99 faculty salaries that currently lag about 10 percent behind comparable institutions.
Effective Oct. 1, UC proposes for 1996-1997 a 2 percent range adjustment for all unrepresented academic titles, including Senate faculty.
The nine-campus system further proposes an additional 3 percent parity adjustment for the Professor and Lecturer with Security of Employment titles and other selected title series, as was implemented in 1995-1996, bringing faculty salaries within 5.5 percent of the average of other institutions. This parity adjustment would not apply to any other unrepresented academic titles.
A 1996-97 salary plan also has been proposed by the Office of the President for unrepresented staff employees. (For exclusively represented employees, salary actions are subject to the terms of existing collective bargaining agreements and/or to meeting and conferring in accordance with the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act).
For employees in merit-based pay plans, the proposed merit pool is 4 percent, with increases effective Oct. 1. The salary grade structures would be adjusted by 2 percent.
For employees in step-based salary plans, a 2 percent range adjustment is planned effective Oct. 1.
In addition, merit increases for eligible staff will be awarded on the same schedule as last year. Employees who formerly had a merit increase date of July 1, 1996 will receive their merit increases effective Jan. 1, 1997. Employees who formerly had a merit increase date of Jan. 1, 1997 will receive their merit increases effective July 1, 1997.
Six-month, casual and casual restricted increases will also follow the same schedule as last year (six-month delay).
Funding for incentive awards allocated in 1994-95 to each campus in the form of a block grant covering eligible staff will continue to be available for 1996-97. No additional set-aside to augment the incentive award fund pool is planned.
UC will receive $2.06 billion in state general funds in 1996-97, an increase of $130 million or 6.7 percent over last year. The state funds, combined with student fee revenues, will provide for about a 5 percent increase in overall university spending in 1996-97.
The budget adds $5 million in 1996-97 to the $3 million UC president Richard C. Atkinson earmarked for the Industry-University Cooperative Research Program, which will expand its activities to facilitate the transfer of ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace.
In addition, the budget provides another $1 million in extra funding for UC academic outreach programs. The budget also provides $1 million to bolster California's chance of successfully competing for one of the new National Science Foundation computer centers.
The state budget also provides UC with $152 million in voter-approved general obligation bonds to fund seismic, infrastructure, life-safety and renovation projects.