Getting Merit Right: Where do we go from here?

Our first experience with the new salary review provisions in the Collective Agreement is nearing completion.  Departments and Colleges have awarded their portions of the merit pool and the President’s Review Committee is in the final stages of its deliberations.  The USFA has received an enormous amount of feedback regarding the new salary review process, and we believe that we have a long way to go before our members will be comfortable with the salary review process.

Members can be assured that the USFA Executive views salary review as a critically important collegial process that must be evaluated and refined until our members are satisfied that fair, open and transparent procedures are in place.  We recognize that the new process in place needs to be adjusted before these goals can be achieved, and we will work with the Employer to meet those goals.

Jim Cheesman, Senior professional Officer, and Martin Phillipson, Acting Vice-Provost, Faculty Relations are preparing an analysis of the 2011-12 salary review process.  Once completed, the report will be circulated to members for their feedback, and revisions and refinements will be put on the table at the next round of negotiations.

Part of the reasoning behind changing the salary review procedures at the last round of bargaining was to try and put in place a better process, one that takes into account and rewards the many and varied roles that faculty perform from different units on campus.  Shifting from a culture that primarily rewards research productivity based on publication counting will be slow for sure, but we must find a process that recognizes all components of our assigned duties when they are performed well. If we cannot achieve that goal, then we should re-examine the entire exercise of the awarding merit.