Over the summer, a group of faculty formed a workgroup to develop salary proposals we might bring to the table during bargaining. Based upon surveys of faculty and department meetings in spring 2012, the workgroup discussed several problems we have at the UO that could be addressed through changes to our salaries. The workgroup thought we should address the problems of recruitment and retention, compression among ranks, our lack of parity with our comparator institutions, lack of transparency in salary policy, and the fact that some of our non-tenure-track colleagues earn appallingly low wages. Their work led to the development of several proposals.
In the bargaining process, we will be introducing an integrated and robust set of salary proposals for all faculty at the University of Oregon. These include multi-year efforts to systematically correct the salary differential with our AAU comparators, correct inversion and compression, create transparent salary policies, and implement across the board raises that address the historical lack of raises for all faculty. We will also include a proposal to reward achievement through merit raises.
We intend to bring a strong merit raise proposal. It is our belief that work that is vital to maintaining our institutional standing should be rewarded. Our proposal will require every department or employing unit to have a faculty-approved process for determining merit raises, with separate programs for tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty.
While merit raises will be an important component of the package, we also believe that all faculty have earned a raise. It has been several years since most of us have seen an increase in our pay. The vast majority of the non-tenure-track faculty did not get a raise two years ago; nor did all of our tenure-track colleagues. We will be bargaining for an across-the-board raise for all faculty to address these historically low salaries and inequities.
We will also seek to address the twin problems of compression among our ranks and equity with our comparators. In 2000, the University Senate adopted a white paper on tenure-track salaries that called for faculty to be caught up to the average wage of our comparator schools. We intend to follow through on this work.
Recognizing that remaining competitive with our comparators is vital to our recruitment and retention for the tenure-track, we also believe that we must pay competitive wages to retain our valuable non-tenure-track colleagues. We seek to achieve this through establishing salary floors similar to those of our sister schools in Oregon.
Our salary proposals are best thought of as a package of proposals, balanced to address all of the concerns listed above. While we have no idea what the administration plans to propose or how they intend to address these problems, we believe that they all need to be addressed and we will work to secure a salary package that strengthens the quality of research and education at the University of Oregon.