New legislation would restore faculty salary structure

Last week, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago introduced legislation that seeks to restore a salary structure for CSU faculty.

Because we do not have a salary structure, faculty haven’t received SSIs since the 2007-08 academic year, contributing to stagnating salaries and worsening issues of salary compression and inversion.

This means as new faculty are hired at market rates, they tend to earn similar (compression) or higher (inversion) salaries than more senior faculty, whose salaries have been stagnant. This is sometimes dubbed the “experience penalty.”

This bill would help fix that problem. Just as step increases are automatic for other public sector employees performing satisfactory work the legislation would mean that eligible faculty (i.e. those below the salary maximum for their rank) get an automatic 2.65% SSI.

The first-year cost, estimated at $16.3 million in salary and benefits, would become cost neutral in the long term, since faculty turnover would offset the expenditures over time.

How is this possible? Think of the salary structure as a ladder. Each step on the ladder represents a year of service. When the person on or near the top rung of the ladder retires, each person moves up one rung, and a new faculty member is hired to occupy a lower rung. Once the ladder is funded, SSI awards require no additional funding.

For more details on the bill, click here.