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Merit Raises and Equity

Submitted by Staff on Mon, 12/14/2015 - 18:30

The second year of the Faculty Compensation Program for full-time faculty (tenured, tenure-track, and full-time non-tenure track) is being conducted as a merit process.

On December 14, 2015, Deepa Kumar, Vice President of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, sent out a message to clarify what the contract says about this year's salary increase process:

Dear Colleagues:

In our conversations with colleagues over the last few weeks about merit/ Faculty Compensation Program (FCP) raises, we have become aware of some common misconceptions. A key misconception is that FCP raises are solely about recognizing and rewarding scholarship. This is inaccurate, and we wanted, therefore, to take this opportunity to make clear what the criteria are for awarding FCP raises.

As David Hughes mentioned in an email to you on October 27 the criteria for awarding FCP raises are based on recent and continued excellence in scholarship, teaching, service, and equity. In addition to scholarship, our colleagues should be rewarded for excellence in teaching and service; additionally, the FCP raises are also an opportunity to address inequities in your department. It is regrettable that this one raise has to accomplish so much. We will continue to urge Old Queens to find better ways to address historic inequities.

It has also been reported to us that several departments which held meetings this fall to discuss this round of FCP raises have used equity as an important criteria for this round. We applaud this approach since we are strongly committed to equity. We understand, of course, that each department is in a different situation and will consider accomplishments and the principle of equal-pay-for-equal work on a case-by-case basis.

In order to determine if equity is an issue in your department, you will need to study the salary data. Once you do so, you may find that salary compression may be an issue (particularly at the Associate Professor level since we have seen salary freezes and no FCP consideration since 2010. Many senior colleagues also started at Rutgers at comparatively lower salaries.) You may also find inequities along the lines of gender and race (a national trend). Salary data for Rutgers faculty are publicly available; for instance here. Additionally, Old Queens will make such information available soon, in addition to the dollar allocations per academic unit.

The AAUP-AFT has a proud history of fighting for greater equity for faculty of color and women. We have also championed the rights of our LGBTQ members. We ask that you look at these and other factors in order to determine if there is inequity in your department, and if so, to address these inequities with the upcoming FCP raises.

If you need our help, please don't hesitate to contact us.

In solidarity,

Deepa Kumar
Vice-President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Associate Professor
Department of Journalism and Media Studies (School of Communication & Information, New Brunswick)

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