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 email@example.com will be answered by senior staff members.
What you should have gotten if you had an academic-year appointment: Your minimum salary is up to $33,178 for this current year, an increase of $3,016 (plus you’ll receive a one-time lump sum of $1,500 after July 1). Because that raise is retroactive to September 1 of last year, you’re owed for the portion of the year that elapsed before the increase was paid—192 workdays out of 217 workdays in the academic year. You should have gotten an additional $2,668.53 (before taxes and deductions) as your retroactive raise back to September 1.
Your regular biweekly paycheck should also reflect the salary increase; your gross pay in this check should be $1,528.94. You’ll get two more checks with this increased pay to take you to the end of the fiscal year—one for a full 10-day biweekly pay period and another half as large for the remaining five days in the academic year to June 30. And you’ll also receive the one-time lump sum of $1,500 after July 1.
What you should have gotten if you had a calendar-year appointment: Your minimum salary is up to $38,155 for this current year, an increase of $4,156 (plus you’ll receive a one-time lump sum of $1,500 after July 1). Because that raise is retroactive to July 1 of last year, you’re owed for the portion of the year that elapsed before the increase was paid—236 workdays out of 261 workdays in the calendar year. You should have gotten an additional $3,757.92 (before taxes and deductions) as your retroactive raise back to July 1. (Note: these are the amounts you should have received if your appointment began on July 1; see the explanation below if your appointment began later than that.)
Your regular biweekly paycheck should also reflect the salary increase; your gross pay in this check should be $1,461.88. You’ll also get two more checks with this increased pay to take you to the end of the fiscal year—one for a full 10-day biweekly pay period and another half as large for the remaining five days in the calendar year to June 30 (if you have another calendar-year appointment for 2023–24, this amount may be combined in a single check with the first five workdays of that next appointment). And you’ll also receive the one-time lump sum of $1,500 after July 1.
If what you got in your June 9 paycheck was different than these amounts, here are some common explanations for why:
– 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 were a grad fellow in 2022–23, the administration doesn’t recognize you as represented by our union (something we are fighting to change), and so they don’t have to pay you the increased minimum salary. You won’t receive retro pay or an increased biweekly paycheck. If you were a grad fellow for part of the year and a TA or GA for the other part, you will get retro pay for the part of the year that you were a TA or GA.
– If your appointment changed or you were on a partially paid or unpaid leave for any part of the year, that would affect the amount you received in retroactive pay. By how much depends on the details of your individual situation.
– If you started the year making more than the previous minimum salary for an AY or CY appointment, the increase to the new minimum salary is less, so you would get correspondingly less retro pay for the portion of the year before the new minimum was paid. If you’re still above the new minimum, you won’t receive any retro pay, and your gross biweekly pay will remain the same.
– If you have a calendar-year appointment that began after July 1, your retro pay will be lower, because the number of workdays for which you’re owed retro pay is less. For example, some of you have calendar-year appointments that run from September 1, 2022, to August 31, 2023. Your retro pay works out to $3,051.68 because of the fewer number of workdays since your appointment began. Your increased biweekly gross pay of $1,461.88 will continue until August 31. But you will receive the $1,500 lump sum after July 1 with other TAs and GAs.
These explanations 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 the new Winter-Summer minimum, which is based on the new significantly higher per-credit minimum for adjunct lecturers. But because UHR screwed up retro pay for adjuncts so badly, 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’s probably Winter Session retro pay.
Relatedly, for those of you who are teaching Summer Session, your pay likely wasn’t raised up to the new Winter-Summer minimum for this session. Be sure to check your next pay stubs to make sure you are being paid the proper amount and that you receive back pay 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.