Staff Alliance Poll on FY16 Compensation Scenarios

Good afternoon UA Staff,

Without a final FY16 State of Alaska budget there are still many questions about the scope of reductions, future of compensation increases and overall level of operating funding available for the university this coming year. Whether or not the State includes funding for negotiated union contracts remains a major sticking point in the Senate. It is clear that funding for non-union employees is not being provided by the state, and strong intent language from the House Finance Committee condones funding compensation increases internally.

This leaves the university with limited options and difficult choices. Without State funds for compensation increases, (a 3.1% increase was proposed for staff, plus increases in union CBAs, for a total increase of more than $20 million for FY16) any increases would have to be covered by the university in the form of layoffs, reductions, increased revenue, or other means of balancing the budget.

As Staff Alliance Chair I will address the Board of Regents Thursday morning. This is an opportunity to express staff positions and concerns. I would like to be able to speak about compensation and know that I am representing staff. I do not know for certain what options administration may have when the Legislature passes the final FY16 budget, but the ones below seem most likely given the current budget situation.

Please click on the link below to take a brief survey indicating your preferences on the following scenarios as well as the opportunity to submit comments that could assist my testimony. Please take into consideration that the actions of the State in passing the final FY16 budget and any intent language they include will affect the university’s ability to consider any of these options.

SCENARIO ONE: No compensation increases for any university employees. Least impact on additional layoffs and/or funding reductions for departments and programs.

SCENARIO TWO: No compensation increases for non-union employees; union employees get the raises included in their CBAs. Funding the compensation increases will require finding additional money which could result in increased layoffs.

SCENARIO THREE:  Everyone gets the planned compensation increases with the increased cost covered by additional layoffs, reductions, reorganizations, etc.  This would result in the highest risk of additional layoffs and funding reductions to program and department budgets.

SCENARIO FOUR: Compensation increases are granted for non-union employees, but countered with equivalent furlough. This results in no change to income, and neutralizes the impact to the university, but base pay in the future will be adjusted appropriately. When the budget situation normalizes employees will be paid at a rate that reflects their service and inflation.

Thanks for your input on this matter!

SURVEY:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FY16Compensation

Monique Musick

Staff Alliance Chair

 

This anonymous survey is being conducted by the Staff Alliance to help gauge staff feelings regarding FY16 compensation. Responses will be collected via SurveyMonkey by the System Governance Office and shared internally with university HR directors, budget offices and leadership to help guide budgeting decisions, and should be considered a public record. Participation is optional.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Staff Alliance Poll on FY16 Compensation Scenarios

  1. Chip

    So, we get to pick which of our children we like best? Or possibly least?

    Everybody who can, please fill out the survey. Its our best chance to have input in this mess.

  2. Nancy Richmond-Bentley

    Monique,
    Thanks for trying to wade through this horrible mess, made by the state legislature. We have a real dilemma here- none of these choices is acceptable. I feel that the legislature is manipulating all state employees into giving up what was rightfully agreed upon last year, when there was money put aside to take care of it, and now it is being taken back. How cruel.
    I would like to point out that one we give up the 3%, we will never see it again- and the other choice of being laid off is worse. UA and state employees can look forward to a very long drought as far as fair compensation goes. The affects on recruiting, job retention, and continuity of operations in the UA system will have years of negative impacts.
    I do not like having my life and livelihood being toyed with.
    We do good work here in the UA system, and having that be negated for political gain is the unkindest cut of all.

    • Chip

      I agree for the most part, but we can’t make legislature behave responsibly.
      Nor can we wish away some tough fiscal realities. The just mentioned legislature has proven this to all our sorrow.

      So our reality must turn to what CAN we affect. Unfortunately one of them is the list of bad choices Monique has presented us (not her fault!). Think it thorough carefully and make the best choice your conscience allows.

      Longer term, there are things we can do.

      We can take a long hard look at the “ladies and gentlemen” we send to Juneau. We can make their lives really unpleasant by holding them accountable for their actions – and lack thereof. We are not obliged to return them in the next election.

      We can ask ourselves if we should reconsider unionizing. Revisit those pros and cons.

      We can take a hard look at our campuses and see where we can be working smarter, not harder. Those savings can be an economic buffer between us and the legislature.

      The most important thing we can do, now and in the future, is support each other. This is an ugly situation which is not getting better.

  3. I’d like to thank everyone for contributing to the survey and sharing your comments. I am working through the comments now and will use this blog to answer some of the re-occurring questions.

    The first I want to put out there has to do with Scenario 4 and furloughs. A lot asked why it only mentioned non-union employees. While I would hope that those under CBAs would be interested in discussing or considering a similar move to reduce the impact of funding reductions through means available to them (MOUs or something), the CBAs do not include furlough regulations so technically that option isn’t a possibility for union employees right now.

    In my testimony (reprinted in another post yesterday) I include a summary of results and some analysis of comments. I will work to get a more comprehensive analysis available.

    Thank you all!
    Monique

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