Hello TT Faculty members,
I’d like to provide you with a brief update on the status of the negotiations for a successor to our 2015 contract. The administration provided its initial proposals for Article XII (Salary) and Article XIII (Medical Benefits) on August 9th.
Administration Salary Proposal:
The administration is proposing a new three-tiered approach to standard increment (across the board) raises. On this approach, Faculty would receive a different percentage increase depending upon what salary tier they fell in. However, the effect on total Faculty salaries would be the equivalent of the following across the board raises for all Faculty:
AY 18/19 1.94%
AY 19/20 1.58%
AY 20/21 1%
The administration’s proposal did not include any Merit Awards, any increases to the salary floors for each rank, or any increases to the promotion increments. The full proposal is available on the AAUP-KSU website (https://www.aaupksu.org/tenure-track-unit/negotiations-2018).
Needless to say, we are disappointed by this initial proposal given that inflation is currently running at 2.9% (https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/current-inflation-rates/) and given that the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget approved by the Board of Trustees in July projects that the University’s revenue will exceed its expenses by 50 million dollars. (Click here to see the FY 2019 Budget.)
We have additional concerns that the tiered approach being proposed by the administration would exacerbate salary compression and even result in salary inversion for more than 20 Faculty members whose salaries are just above the proposed tier cut offs. Salary inversion occurs when a Faculty member X whose AY 17/18 salary was greater than a Faculty member Y’s AY 17/18 salary ends up making less than Faculty member Y in AY 18/19 (without taking into account any promotion increments, merit awards, or President’s Faculty Excellence Awards earned by either Faculty member).
The administration is proposing to eliminate the current 90/70 and 80/60 PPO plans and replace them with a 85/60 PPO plan with the median salaried KSU employee contributing 18.5% of the premium for the new plan. There would be no change in the current High Deductible Health Savings plan.
Currently, the median salaried KSU employee contributes 17% of the premium for the 90/70 PPO plan and 15% of the premium for the 80/60 PPO plan. However, the median salaried TT Faculty member currently contributes 21.5% of the premium for the 90/70 PPO plan and 19.5% of the premium for the 80/60 PPO plan. We anticipate that, on the administration’s proposal, the median salaried TT Faculty member would contribute 23% of the premium for the 85/60 PPO plan.
Additionally, the out of pocket maximums for the 85/60 PPO plan being proposed by the administration are 100% higher than those on the 90/70 PPO plan and 67% higher than those on the 80/60 PPO plan. Taking into account the change in the percentage of the premium contributed, the change in deductibles, and the change in out of pocket maximums, we project that the increase in cost for the median salaried TT Faculty member currently in either the 90/70 or the 80/60 plan would be the equivalent of 1% of salary for single coverage and 2% of salary for family coverage.
Keep in mind that the administration’s proposals are not the final word on this matter. This is a negotiation and AAUP-KSU will be making counter-proposals on both of these Articles. We understand the importance of achieving a salary and benefits package that is worthy of our excellent Faculty and that allows the University to attract and retain talented new Faculty.
Deborah C. Smith
Chief Negotiator, AAUP-KSU Tenured & Tenure Track Unit