I knew this would be coming. We just got an email from our university asking us to respond to a suggestion to temporarily reduce faculty salaries. So, at the same time we’re expected to work even harder to maintain our commitments, we’re also asked to take a pay cut.
We must be thoughtful, fair, and equitable as we consider financial strategies, and we believe that a temporary reduction in the compensation for faculty must be considered. The FCC [Faculty Consultative Committee] is mindful of the extensive workloads and expectations put on faculty, and that many of us are stretched thin by our obligations and our own financial circumstances, but we are also mindful of those whose employment is threatened. We also support including in the proposal a sliding scale, reflecting the diverse circumstances of different categories of faculty, which is consistent with the requirement that any temporary reduction be “allocated to faculty in accordance with a mathematical formula or similar device.”
OK, I’m willing to accept a pay cut in order to prevent the university from simply firing any of my colleagues (which is partly a selfish decision on my part, because losing anyone would mean I’d have to work harder). I’m missing some information here, though.
- What “mathematical formula”? That sounds sciencey, but a mathematical formula could be anything. Be specific.
- I notice that all of the cuts are to faculty pay. I’d be much more supportive if the administration led by example and told us first what kind of salary reduction they’re taking right now.
Interestingly, they also note in their letter that the cuts only apply to non-union faculty. Do we now have an incentive to unionize, finally? If I were a member of a union that similarly agreed to temporary pay reductions, at least I’d be satisfied that I was represented by people who were making choices to benefit me and my peers. As it is, our watchdogs for our self-interests are…the administration.