Management proposes 2.5 % this (academic) year and only discretionary raises next year
USF Faculty and professionals can be proud: despite headwinds from Tallahassee and serving a major metropolitan area, USF is second only to UF in new performance standards, which the Board of Governors hopes will earn USF an $ 8.9 million bonus this year. Last year, USF tied with UCF among non-"pre-eminent" universities, and got a $ 2.6 million bonus.
We done good, and President Genshaft said to USF faculty and staff in her 2013 Fall Address: "We value you and that’s why I am reinvesting funds and making available $8 million for performance or merit-based increases to base salaries effective January 1st." (The bold underline was from her web-page.)
But public statements are not legal commitments: what matters is what the USF Administration Bargaining Team proposes. On April 11, the Administration Team revived an old proposal for a contract that included a 2.5 % merit raise after ratification, plus (up to) a 1 % discretionary raise, and the latter would have to be distributed by May, 2015. In other words, the USF Administration offered a 2.5 % merit raise (effective very soon) this year, nothing next year, except for the fraction who would receive however much of the discretionary raise the Administration cares to distribute (to whomever they like).
The UFF USF Bargaining Team (which represents you) countered with a 2.5 % merit raise (effective very soon) this year, 1 % discretion for the Administration to play with through May, 2015, a 2.5 % merit bonus because, ahem, this was supposed to be last year's raise, and we start bargaining the next contract immediately, including the raise for this year.
Our team had two problems with the USF Administration proposal. First of all, since only a minority of UFF USF employees get discretionary raises, most people rely on merit raises. Since there was no merit raise in 2012 – 2013, and the Administration proposed no merit raise for 2014 – 2015, the effect of the Administration's proposal would be a single 2.5 % merit raise over three years, which (compounded) is equivalent to three 0.83 % raises over three years.
Secondly, the 2.5 % raise was supposed to be last year's raise. As our Chief Negotiator observed, by putting off the raise from 7 August 2013 (when the new contract's raise should have come into effect) to late April 2014 (when the raise proposed by the USF Administration would have come into effect), the USF Administration was saving money: according to the employee list provided to UFF in January, with 487 12-month in-unit employees earning $ 40.0 million and 1,171 9-month in-unit employees earning $ 95.3 million, putting off the raise would save the Administration just over $ 2.9 million. That's a little more than the bonus USF faculty and professionals earned for USF last year for high performance standards.
(Again, the UFF Bargaining Team has just sent out a letter regarding the last bargaining session.)
Nevertheless, we remain optimistic that the USF Administration and the Board will realize the necessity for adequately compensating USF faculty and professionals for the work we do.