University Human Resources (UHR) made a complete mess of calculating and paying the retroactive salary increases in our new contract in time for our June 9 paychecks. The problems are much worse and more systematic for our adjunct colleagues (if you haven’t signed the petition supporting their demands, click here to do so now).
But we want to give members of our unit the information and explanations we’ve been able to gather about your retro pay, so you can make sure you weren’t underpaid. The information below expands on what we were able to tell you in earlier messages. If you find a discrepancy in your June 9 paycheck that isn’t explained below, UHR has promised that emails to firstname.lastname@example.org will be answered by senior staff members.
What you should have gotten: The salary increase for full-time faculty and EOF Counselors was a flat dollar amount of $5,035. Because that raise is retroactive to July 1 of last year, you’re owed for the portion of the year that elapsed before the raises were paid—236 workdays out of 261 workdays in the year. That works out to an additional $4,552.72 (before taxes and deductions). This amount should have been added to your June 9 pay (on the “Hours and Earnings” list on your pay stub, it may be labeled “Retro Salary Regular”).
You got some of the remaining $447.28 of the $5,035 in increased gross pay in the June 9 check, and the remaining retro due will be rolled into the following checks. Starting with the June 9 check, your new gross pay for a biweekly period should be $192.91 higher than it was previously.
If what you got in your June 9 paycheck differs from these amounts, here are some common explanations for why (as well as some common problems that we’ve brought to UHR’s attention):
– If your pay is off by a few dollars or cents, that’s because UHR—for some bizarre reason—converted the $5,035 flat dollar amount to a percentage of your previous base salary before calculating your retro pay and new biweekly gross pay. That introduced rounding errors that affected nearly everybody. It’s an irritating error by UHR, but one that results in no more than a dollar or two of difference.
– If you weren’t on the payroll as a full-time faculty member or EOF counselor as of June 30, 2022, you aren’t eligible for the raise for the 2022–23 fiscal year, so you won’t receive any retro pay or an increase in new gross pay until the July 1, 2023, salary increase of 3.5 percent kicks in.
– If you weren’t on the payroll as of June 30, 2022, but your starting salary was below the new minimum salary established in the contract, you were raised up to that minimum and should receive retro pay on that amount for the number of days elapsed since your start date.
– If you were on the payroll as of June 30, 2022, but in a different role within the unit, you should be eligible for the retro pay owed to you from that previous role. If you were an adjunct lecturer in Fall 2022, you are owed for a significant increase in per-credit pay. But UHR drastically underpaid nearly all adjuncts on June 9. They have promised that adjuncts will receive the balance of their retro pay in the June 23 paycheck, so check that paycheck. If you were on the payroll in another position, whether union or non-aligned, contact email@example.com and give us your details. We are asking UHR to address these cases on an individual basis.
– If you were on partially paid or unpaid leave for part or all of the year (sabbatical leave at 80 percent pay, for example), then your flat-dollar-amount raise for the year would be reduced by the same percentage as your base salary for this period of time. So your retro pay (and, if you are currently on one of these leaves, your new biweekly gross pay) will be lower by the same percentage.
– We’ve discovered a consistent error with UHR’s calculations of retro for people on some leaves—specifically, faculty on sabbatical in the Spring but not the Fall had their retro pay reduced for the full year, not one semester. Check your June 9 pay stub carefully to make sure your retro pay is lower by the correct percentage for the leave you were on and only for the amount of time you were on it. We’ve alerted UHR about the mistakes we know about and expect corrections to appear in the June 23 paycheck, so check your next paycheck. We’ve asked them to check the calculations for everyone who has been on a leave since July 2022. Additionally, your new base salary should be increased by the full flat-dollar amount of $5,035; reductions for leaves do not affect base salary.
– If you received more than the amounts listed above for retro pay and new gross pay, that is likely because you received a retention raise, equity adjustment, or other out-of-cycle salary increase since last July 1, or because you receive a pay supplement for an additional role, such as department chair. Because UHR converted those raises or supplements to a percentage of your salary, your retro pay and new gross pay is higher for the portion of the year after you received the increase. UHR has discovered a miscalculation that resulted in an overpayment for about 19 people. They will be contacting those individuals to explain the miscalculation and arrange a plan for correcting the overpayment.
These explanations and common errors may answer your questions about why you didn’t receive what you thought you should. If they don’t, double check your pay stub for the June 9 check and then contact firstname.lastname@example.org. UHR has promised that a senior staff member will monitor that email address and follow up with solutions and answers to questions.
A Note on Winter 2023 Session Retro Pay and Summer 2023 Session Salaries
If you taught in the Winter 2023 Session, you should have received retro pay to bring you up to 3 percent of your increased base salary per credit, or the new Winter-Summer minimum, whichever is higher. But the Winter-Summer minimum is based on the new significantly higher per-credit minimum for adjunct lecturers, and UHR screwed up retro pay for adjuncts. If you had to be raised up to the minimum, you likely didn’t receive everything you are owed. We have been told that the balance of retro pay for Winter 2023 session will be included in your June 23 pay, so check that pay stub.
To make matters worse, retro pay for Winter Session isn’t clearly labeled. But if you have an extra payment listed under “Hours and Earnings” (possibly labeled “One Time Payment”), it may be Winter Session retro pay.
Relatedly, for those of you who are teaching Summer Session, your pay likely wasn’t increased as described above. Be sure to check your next pay stubs to make sure you are being paid the proper amount and that you receive any back pay due to you for this first pay period of the session. If UHR hasn’t fixed the rate for Summer Session instructors in the June 23 paychecks, we will take further action.