Approved by the: University Senate - March 31, 2011
Administration - no action required*
Board of Regents - no action required
* In the face of necessary budget reductions, this administration will seriously consider all options available to ensure that impacts of budget cuts are handled humanely and without significant impact on any one group.


Equity during Budget Cuts


Should it be necessary to implement salary reductions for University employees in the future, the University Senate requests that the administration seriously consider a progressive scale based on principles of protecting living wages and social justice.

COMMENT:

The administration asked the Faculty Senate to vote its assent to the temporary reduction of faculty salaries for fiscal year 2010-2011, while also proposing to reduce the compensation of other employees of the University, in accord with Section 4.5 of the Regents’ Policy on Faculty Tenure. The reduction of faculty salaries was approved by the Faculty Senate (1.15% for the salaries of all faculty and P&A employees, 2.3% for academic and administrative officers, and a three day furlough for staff) and was projected to yield savings of $18.5 million. In a comparable situation of economic duress, in 1932, the Regents of the University of Minnesota imposed a salary cut on a sliding scale, reducing all salaries above certain thresholds and imposing no reduction on salaries below a certain threshold.

The Equity, Access, and Diversity Committee (EAD) appreciated the administration’s efforts last year to respond to concerns faculty expressed about equity in dealing with the University’s financial troubles. Nevertheless, EAD is concerned that across-the-board percentage pay cuts are inherently regressive in their disproportionate effect on lower-income members of the University community.  

Should a similar financial situation arise, the University Senate recommends that the administration adopt a progressive and equitable scale so that employees who garner the highest wages at the institution are more proportionally affected for the short term and that the administration protect employees who are the lowest-paid and most vulnerable (for example, employees making less than 200% of the U.S. poverty level) not be asked again to help balance the University budget in difficult economic times.

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