Pay hike planned for faculty, staff

By Jami Peterson

NIU faculty members should see a boost in their paychecks by February.

NIU President John La Tourette recently announced that he plans to give all regular faculty and staff an across-the-board pay raise of about 2 percent.

The mid-year pay increase, however, must be approved by the Board of Regents at its Jan. 21 meeting. The Regents could decide to make the salary increase effective on Jan. 1 or Feb. 1 of this year.

La Tourette said he expects the raise to be implemented as early as possible. “I hope that will occur,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any problem here.”

The unlikely prospect of a mid-year recision from Springfield coupled with a reallocation fo funds made the pay increase possible, he said. “It’s very clear now there will be no budget recision.”

NIU began gathering funds for reallocation last year through the Organization, Productivity and Salaries (OPS) committee, he said. The goal of OPS was to raise enough funds for a 3 percent salary increase this year.

“We’re still packing up dollars identified last spring,” La Tourette said.

He said NIU already exceeded the OPS goal with a 4.9 percent salary increase on July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year.

The additional 2 percent salary raise will bring NIU faculty’s total pay increase to almost 7 percent this year, he said.

“That is way beyond what we promised and what most people expected,” he said. “The work to reallocate funds to increase salaries has been very effective.”

Although funds for the 4.9 percent salary increase this summer came from reallocation and an increase in tuition, La Tourette said the 2 percent raise will come strictly from reallocated funds.

He said NIU still is attempting to determine the amount of funds that must be used for the pay increase. “We haven’t determined the exact amount. We’re in the ball park.”

Faculty members also could see a pay boost next year if the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s budget recommendations are passed by the legislature.

The IBHE recommended that all state university faculty receive a 2.5 percent pay increase supplemented by an additional 2 to 3 percent from reallocated university funds during fiscal year 1994.