By Leanne Serbulo, VP of Collective Bargaining
Good news! We’ve come to a conceptual agreement that addresses the pay and promotional issues faced by our academic professionals. The administration will pay for a comprehensive classification and compensation study that will develop new titles and job families for academic professional positions. The new families will be designed with promotional pathways and pay structures will be created that reward specialized knowledge or expertise, on the job experience and excellence. There will be a regional market study conducted to determine how APs are paid at our comparator institutions.
The RFP to hire a consultant to conduct the classification and compensation study will be jointly developed by PSU AAUP and the Administration. Academic professionals will be given opportunities to provide input throughout the study process. No academic professional will experience a reduction in pay, FTE or change in union representation as a result of the classification study. The recommendations from the study will have to be bargained over before they can be implemented.
This classification and compensation study will help drive some of the structural changes that are needed to provide sustainable career pathways for PSU’s academic professionals. It also addresses the administration’s need to reexamine both academic professional and unrepresented employees’ job descriptions in order be in compliance with the new Department of Labor standards regarding overtime pay eligibility that are due to go into effect next year. The entire cost of the study will be borne by the administration, and it will not have any monetary impact on the economic issues we want to address in this contract.
While the classification and compensation study is a long-term solution to some of the employment issues our APs face, it may take a while for it to be completed, so in the meantime, academic professionals will receive a longevity adjustment based upon their years of experience at PSU. The longevity adjustment will be a fixed amount added to one’s annual salary and graduated for each year of service interval. APs who have been at PSU at least 2 years but less than 3 will receive a small adjustment, then the intervals will be as follows: 3 to less than 5 years, 5 to less than 7, 7 to less than 10, and every 5 years after that (10-15, 15-20, 20-25 and so on). The amount for each interval will be determined during economics bargaining. The longevity adjustments will be awarded in the first year of the contract. If the result of the classification and compensation study are not finalized by the second year of the contract, another round of longevity adjustments will take place.
We will send out an official communication with more detail about this agreement once we finalize the contract language. We will move on to generating options to deal with AP workload issues at our next session. After that, we will begin to discuss professional development. It’s nice to end the year on a positive note! We look forward to a fair and fast resolution to our outstanding issues when we return to bargaining in January. Happy New Year!