UUP-NYS Negotiations Over Salary Compression Adjustments – From UUP President Fred Kowal

Dear Colleagues:

As you know, during the most recent round of contract negotiations, we reached an agreement with the State of New York which stipulates that salary compression and inversion – when found to be significant – are to be addressed in a mutually agreed upon process.

Appendix A-41 to the 2016-22 Agreement provides that the guidelines and methodology for analyzing the extent of salary compression and inversion at each campus will be developed in executive-level discussions between UUP, SUNY and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER). The results of these analyses will be utilized in distributing these funds to address identified compression and inversion.

Salary compression occurs when there is little or no difference in pay – but significant differences in skill level, responsibility, qualifications, or seniority.  Salary inversion occurs when salary compression, left unadjusted, results in new hires and less senior employees receiving salaries that are greater than more senior co-workers. Salary compression and inversion arises generally from a combination of factors including market forces disproportionately impacting starting salaries and insufficient pay increases tied to promotion and years of service.

As a result of continuous work since October 2018, state-level negotiations over the final methodology for analyzing salary compression and inversion at each campus and the process for distributing salary adjustments as a result of that analysis, are progressing well. Work will continue through the summer months and we expect to be able to report more details early in the fall semester.  While this work continues, campuses have been instructed by SUNY to begin collecting the employee data (for both academics and professionals) needed to prepare for the salary analysis. They have not been given final instructions for completion of the analysis or for disbursement of the salary adjustments that will follow from that analysis. The state-level Executive Committee will finalize those instructions over the summer.

The 2016-2022 State/UUP Agreement earmarks one-half of the discretionary salary pools (or 0.5% of total UUP bargaining unit basic annual salaries at each campus) in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 for distribution to address salary compression and inversion.  The first of these distributions must occur by December 31, 2019.  (Article 20.8, 20.10, 20.12 and 20.13). This new contract provision covers full-time and part-time Professionals and Academics.

We will keep you posted, to the greatest extent possible, as the process is finalized over the next several months. 

In Solidarity,

Fred Kowal