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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

May 18, 2006

Council requests cost-of-living increase for P&S employees

by Anne Krapfl

P&S employees with a satisfactory or above performance evaluation ought to receive a salary increase of at least 3.2 percent, according to a salary policy recommendation approved May 5 by the P&S Council. The council said this increase should be considered a cost of living adjustment. It mirrors the growth of the Midwest region's urban Consumer Price Index for calendar year 2005. An additional 1 percent (or more) salary adjustment would reward exemplary work or address severe market competition issues.

The council also recommended that minimums and maximums in the grade levels of the P&S pay matrix be increased 3.2 percent as well.

The council's vote (29-1, with 3 abstentions) followed a salary discussion with vice president for business and finance Warren Madden, associate vice president Carla Espinoza and assistant provost Ellen Rasmussen. Madden said the administration is studying an average salary increase for faculty and P&S staff of about 2.5 percent (funded with centrally reallocated or new dollars). Unit managers would be encouraged -- when possible, he said -- to reallocate within their units to get the average closer to 3 percent, if employee performance warrants it.

"Would we like to do more? Yes," he said. "If we do what you want us to do, that might result in layoffs somewhere."

Madden said the relative position of P&S salaries in the market hasn't changed much in recent years, hovering in the range of 96 to 97 percent of comparable positions in the area. He said turnover within the P&S ranks actually has diminished in the last year, from 10 percent to 9 percent. Faculty salaries, he noted, are less competitive -- as low as 70 percent of the average among peer schools in some academic disciplines.

Following Madden's comments, council members discussed whether it was prudent to recommend the more generous salary policy, given the realities of budget building for FY07.

"How do we agree to 'We're worth less than [a cost of living increase]?'" said council member Michael Miller, College of Design. "What's the argument here? How can we not support this?"

His colleagues concurred. The recommendation was forwarded to President Gregory Geoffroy, Madden and vice president for academic affairs Ben Allen.

In other business, the council elected the remainder of its officer team for 2006-07. The secretary is Lynne Mumm, IPRT Company Assistance; and at-large members of the executive committee are Malisa Rader, human development and family studies; and Brenda Van Beek, natural resource ecology and management. This year's president-elect, Cathy Good, Ag Experiment Station, takes over as president in June. In January, Teri Peterson, Office of Biotechnology, was chosen as the next president-elect.


"How do we agree to 'We're worth less than [a cost of living increase]?' What's the argument here? How can we not support

Michael Miller, P&S Council member