Sep 112019

As mentioned in a previous e-Letter, faculty are about to embark on the salary review process, which is carefully described in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Faculty submit an annual report that is evaluated by a Department or College Salary Committee, a College Review Committee (if applicable) and the university level President’s Review Committee, each of which may award bonuses to the faculty member’s base salary based on the case presented. The bonuses are multiples of a Career Development Increase (CDI).

The recently negotiated collective agreement made four significant changes to salary review:

  1. The total number of CDIs has been reduced by more than 50%, from 610 to 300 CDIs.
  2. The rule dictating that about as many full merits as half merits must be awarded has been struck down.
  3. The maximum number of CDIs that an individual employee may receive has been capped at 2 CDIs.
  4. The rule that the College Review Committee may only recommend employees to the President’s Review Committee that have already been awarded one full CDI has been struck.

The net result of these changes means that the merit pool is much smaller, but what remains can be stretched further.

Although our members disagree as to whether there should be a merit process, the Association has consistently maintained that if there is to be a salary review process, it should be fair and transparent. In particular, all members of faculty should be aware of the standards in place and have access to reasonable summaries of how the merit process played out.

In this year of change, we urge lower level committees to request higher level committees communicate their standards before the process starts at the lower levels and that expectations made clear. In the past, we have heard that departments that have made a large number of smaller awards and then asked for additional merit for high performers are questioned why the department did not make larger awards to the high performers if it felt so strongly. But we have also heard that departments who make larger awards to high performers and then ask for small awards for colleagues who did not received a departmental award are asked why the department itself did not itself make an award to the colleague. Faculty work hard enough without having to deal with this double bind.

We also remind all parties that all tasks faculty perform are potentially meritorious and should be considered in the Salary Review process. Individual units are free to set their priorities, but they must also consider the faculty member’s assignment of duties: a case may be made that it is far more meritorious to make a single peer-reviewed contribution with a high assigned teaching load than to produce several such contributions with a low one. Faculty members may include any other materials they consider relevant and committees should consider them.

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