University Of California Staff to Get Merit Pay Raises

After no salary increases and some pay cuts for almost four years, University of California faculty and non-unionized employees will be eligible to receive merit raises this year, writes Heidi M. Agustin at

All faculty members and non-represented staff members who earn less than $200,00 will receive a three percent raise, under a one-year plan, UC officials announced on Wednesday, provided they receive a good performance review, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Around 78,000 employees will be eligible.

According to UC Berkeley News Center, that the ~400 members of staff ineligible for the raise include senior management who earn more than $200,000 annually, staff who joined the University after January 1, 2011 and staff who recently received pay adjustments as a result of promotions. Union workers will also be ineligible, as they have received regular pay increases.

In a letter released Wednesday, UC President Mark G. Yudof said he took the action out of concern over UC's ability to recruit and retain faculty, "who increasingly are being courted by competing institutions," writes Larry Gordon at the LA Times.

"Fairness dictates that we take this step," he wrote, noting that faculty and non-unionized staff took a one-year pay cuts in the 2009-10 school year. Officials say two-thirds of those staff members earn less than $80,000 a year. (Although some UC union contracts are under negotiation, many unionized workers received modest raises in recent years.)

"As I have said on many occasions, University quality cannot be compromised, and our excellent professors and researchers are the fountainhead of that quality," wrote Yudof.

Yudof also wanted to show appreciation for staff members who worked longer hours during UC's financial crisis, which meant enduring frozen salaries and pay cuts. Though some employees earn close to $200,000, about two-thirds earn less than $80,000 a year, reported the Los Angeles Times.

UC spokesperson Steve Montiel said that state funds, student tuition, hospital revenue and research grants will pay for the $164 million that is required to cover pay increases–as well as extra costs for pensions and health benefits.

State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), who has in the past criticized UC for its high salaries, praised Yudof for focusing on the University's lesser-paid employees rather than those already receiving high salaries.

Matthew Tabor

Matthew Tabor

Matthew is a prolific, independent voice in the national education debate. He is a tireless advocate for high academic standards from pre-K through graduate school, fiscal sense and personal responsibility. He values parents’ and families’ rights and believes in accountability for teachers, administrators, politicians and all taxpayer-funded education entities. With a unique background that includes work in higher education, executive recruiting, professional sport and government, Matthew has consulted on new media and communication strategies for a broad range of clients. He writes the blog “Education for the Aughts” at , has contributed to National Journal’s ‘Expert’ blog for Education , and interacts with the education community on Twitter and Google+.
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