More than 12,000 UI employees get a pay bump

URBANA — More than 12,000 employees at the University of Illinois are getting a midyear raise this month. More than 9,000 other non-union employees are not.

The university said 12,368 employees received raises as part of the 2 percent merit-based salary program announced by President Tim Killeen in December, but 9,683 did not.

The numbers, requested by The News-Gazette, do not include union employees, whose wages are governed by labor contracts.

Many employees weren’t eligible because they had recently been promoted, received a pay increase, were newly hired, are on probation or had terminal contracts, among other exclusions, said UI spokesman Tom Hardy.

Of the 9,999 faculty and other academic employees awarded raises, 87 percent received 1 percent to 3 percent, Hardy said. Another 2.3 percent of academic employees received raises above 5 percent, including 0.8 percent who received 7 percent or more. The highest raise awarded was 15.8 percent.

A total of 9,166 academic employees received no raise because of the exclusions.

Among nonacademic employees, the vast majority of nonunion civil service employees received raises — 2,369, compared to 517 who did not. The average raise for those who received one was 2.2 percent.

The salary program cost the university almost $21 million — $18.23 million for academic employees and $2.77 million for nonunion civil service workers.

The raises took effect in mid- to late February. Academic employees will see the raises in their Thursday paychecks. For civil service workers, it will be March 22.

Neither Killeen nor the three UI chancellors were included in the salary program, Hardy said.

Exclusions varied across the university system.

In university administration, now known as the UI system office, anyone hired on Aug. 16 or later was ineligible. So were employees who received a promotion after July 1, those on terminal contracts or probation, union employees whose wages will be set through contract negotiations, or workers who received raises of 2 percent or more when their pay was increased to conform to new overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Hardy said.

The UI raised some employees’ salaries to $47,476, the minimum salary required to be exempt from federal overtime regulations under rules established by the Obama administration. Under the old rules, they could earn as little as $23,660 and still be exempt.

Those adjustments accounted for some of the employees who received more than 7 percent raises, Hardy said.

At the Urbana campus, anyone hired after Aug. 16, 2016, or who received a pay increase of 2 percent or more since then, was not eligible, including faculty promotions and awards earned by employees. Also excluded were academic professionals who had received a notice of non-reappointment.

The Chicago campus used similar guidelines, except it excluded medical residents, employees hired since July 1 and anyone who had received a 6 percent pay raise or more since then.

A larger percentage of employees in the university system office — 83 percent — received the midyear raises than at the three campuses. At the Urbana campus, the percentage was 58.7 percent, and at Chicago, just under 51 percent.

Hardy said one factor may have been a hiring freeze in effect at that level since July 2015. The system office has had less hiring and fewer promotions, meaning fewer employees were disqualified from the midyear raises, he said.

Campus comparison

Here’s the breakdown of employees who did and did not get raises by campus:

Location Raise No Raise Total*
UI system office 756 151 907
Urbana 5,987 4,207 10,194
Chicago 5,233 5,067 10,300
Springfield 392 258 650
TOTAL 12,368 9,683 22,051

* Numbers do not include union employees.

Breaking it down

Among the raises given to UI academic employees:

— 5 percent were between 0 and 1 percent.
— 48.9 percent were between 1 and 2 percent.
— 38.1 percent were between 2 and 3 percent.
— 4.2 percent were between 3 and 4 percent.
— 1.6 percent were between 4 and 5 percent.
— 1 percent were between 5 and 6 percent.
— 0.5 percent were between 6 and 7 percent.
— 0.8 percent were 7 percent or more.

More than 12,000 UI employees get a pay bump

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