Salary increase remains on hold

By Jami Peterson

NIU faculty members expecting to see larger salaries on their next paychecks will be disappointed.

NIU President John La Tourette said earlier this month faculty members would receive a 2 percent salary increase by Feb. 1 if the Board of Regents approved the request at its Jan. 21 meeting.

Although the Regents authorized NIU to give faculty members a salary increase of up to 2 percent, no action has been taken by La Tourette to implement the boost.

The information for faculty’s Feb. 1 paychecks already has been processed, making it impossible for faculty members to see a pay raise on that check.

The payroll deadline for faculty’s March 1 paycheck is Feb. 10. Therefore, a salary increase request from La Tourette must be turned in by that time.

Ken Mundy, supervisor of NIU’s Payroll and Compensation Office, said he has heard no word about the salary increase. “We have no information about that at this time,” Mundy said. “We know we’re getting something. The ground rules haven’t been figured out yet.”

Mundy said he believed the salary increase, if implemented, would show up on March 1 or April 1 paychecks.

Ann Kaplan, executive assistant to the president, said La Tourette and NIU Provost J. Carroll Moody have been sorting out the details of the salary increase with the Operating Staff Council, the University Council Personnel Committee and the Supportive Professional Staff.

“We’re working on it. We don’t have the details worked out,” Kaplan said.

Both La Tourette and Moody were unavailable for comment.

La Tourette might not have realized the difficulty of his task when he expressed optimism earlier this month that the raise could be implemented as early as possible, Kaplan said. At that time, La Tourette also said the increase might be retroactive to faculty members’ Jan. 1 or Feb. 1 paychecks.

“We’re talking about that,” Kaplan said. “It is more complicated than he (La Tourette) may have realized.”

Although the board authorized La Tourette to provide a 2 percent salary increase, Kaplan said this does not guarantee faculty members will receive the full 2 percent.

Also, when the raise is implemented, it will become annualized at the set percentage. Faculty members, however, will not see the full percentage increase in this year’s gross salary. The raise only will be added to the remainder of faculty’s paychecks.

Kaplan did say the raise definitely will be implemented this semester and details should be known by the end of next week.

“The money is there because of the reallocation NIU did this year,” she said. “Much of that reallocation was put into place in anticipation of a potential decision.”

Some funds gathered through reallocation already have been used to supplement areas on campus which do not have to be approved by the Regents, such as the library and summer research, she said.