The 1997-98 California state budget signed into law by Gov. Wilson Aug. 18 provides an overall increase of 5.9 percent in funding for the university, but also includes a $12 million one-time undesignated budget cut. The university's 1997-98 budget plan had been developed last fall on the basis of the governor's four-year compact with higher education and received widespread support during Legislative budget hearings. Unfortunately, late in the budget process, it became necessary for the Legislature to make last minute cuts of more than $1.5 billion to the overall state budget as a result of a court-ordered state payment to the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). Restoration of the $12 million cut on a permanent basis will be a top priority in the university's 1998-99 budget request.
The university has been studying options for absorbing the $12 million cut on a one-time basis for 1997-98. Based on the normal administrative consultation process, including a discussion with the UC Board of Regents at their Sept. 18-19 meeting, the following proposal for 1997-98 faculty and staff salaries has been formulated.
The proposed plan is to provide the level of faculty and staff salary increases originally proposed in the regents' and governor's budgets for 1997-98, but to delay the distribution of funding for general salary increases originally proposed for Oct. 1 by one month to Nov. 1. This measure would help to meet roughly half of the $12 million budget cut assigned to the University of California and would be combined with additional one-time cuts in other areas of the operating budget to meet this year's shortfall.
Under the proposal, eligible academic employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements would receive a 2 percent general increase (range adjustment) effective Nov. 1. The additional 3 percent parity increase for eligible ladder rank faculty, which has been a planned component of the university's four-year plan to restore faculty salaries to the average salary level at the eight comparison institutions by 1998-99, would be effective Nov. 1. The normal schedule of merit increases for eligible
academic employees not covered by collective bargaining applies this year.
Eligible staff in the non-exclusively represented merit-based pay plans will receive merit increases based on performance effective Nov. 1. As a planning parameter, the Office of the President has authorized campuses to provide a merit pool-from a combination of range adjustments funds, merit funds and campus turnover savings-of up to 4 percent, the actual merit control figure, however, has been left to the option of the campuses.
The decision by the Berkeley campus to reserve part of its allocation to fund salary equity increases for Programmer/Analyst and Computer Resource Manager titles because of critical recruiting and retention issues results in a 3.5 percent merit control figure for non-exclusively represented staff in merit-based plans. Eligibility criteria for non-exclusively represented staff employees will remain the same as in past years.
Where applicable, non-exclusively represented eligible staff employees in step-based salary plans would receive a 2 percent general increase (range adjustment) effective Nov. 1, and merit increases would be funded on the same schedule as in 1996-97. Likewise, eligibility criteria and the funding schedule for six month, casual, and casual restricted increases will remain on the same schedule as last year.
Information regarding the proposed Berkeley campus incentive award program will be provided in a separate communication at a later date.
For exclusively represented academic and staff employees, salary actions are subject to the terms of existing collective bargaining agreements, and/or meeting and discussing, consulting or conferring in accordance with the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA), as appropriate.
If you have questions or comments, please contact Director of Human Resources Alice Gregory by Oct. 10.