Implementation of Salary Increases to Address Inversion/Compression & Equity

May 15, 2018 / Jose Padin

We have concluded our work leading up to the implementation of salary adjustments to address Inversion/Compression & Equity for tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty, and the implementation has begun. In what follows we answer the question being asked by PSU-AAUP members: how was PSU Human Resources Department's distribution of the Inversion/Compression & Equity funds determined?

In our 2016-19 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with PSU, we bargained for a pool of funds to address salary inversion/compression and equity issues affecting tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty (Article 30, Section 4).

As spelled out in the CBA, we constituted a group representing PSU-AAUP and PSU which was charged with designing a process and models to distribute the funding pool.  The PSU-AAUP team included David Hansen (SBA), VP for Collective Bargaining, Leanne Serbulo (University Studies), past VP Collective Bargaining, José Padín (Sociology), President, Shafiqur Rahman (Professor, School of Business Administration), and Phil Lesch, Executive Director.

As recently announced by the PSU Department of Human Resources (PSU-HR), the labor-management workgroup established to plan the implementation of CBA Article 30 Section 4 has agreed to a process for doing so.  The guiding principles for developing the models to distribute the allocated reserves for mitigating salary inversion/compression and equity disparity were that they be transparent, objective, rational, and reproducible. 

We first identified a group of 43 peer universities that are reasonable comparators for PSU.  Next we developed models to distribute the Article 30, Section 4 funds. For NTTF, the 2017 distribution focused on internal equity. For TTF (all three years, 2017, 2018, 2019), and for NTT (the last two years, 2018, 2019), the allocated reserves are distributed in proportion to the severity of inversion/compression assessed relative to the peer institutions.

We were, in addition, able to determine the magnitude of inversion/compression overall, and therefore have a clear sense of what we will need to work towards in the next round of bargaining to completely remedy salary inversion/compression at PSU. Because the allocated reserves are smaller than what it would take to fully eliminate inversion and compression, the models (below) address the more severe of the two, inversion, which can be thought of as “extreme compression.” We will have to bargain for additional reserves in our next CBA to fully remedy compression.

The models that we developed and adopted to distribute the Article 30 Section 4 funds follows:

NTTF Equity Distribution Model

For the first (2017) of the three annual distributions for NTTF the CBA requires that NTTF salaries be reviewed for inequities that could be due to discrimination based on factors such as hiring rank, ethnicity, gender, or race.  Accordingly, NTTF salaries were compared to other internal salaries of the same Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code as defined by the National Center for Education Statistics of the US Department of Education.   The comparison of salaries was established as a function of years of full time appointment mapped to a standard compa-ratio distribution for each CIP.  For example, 15 years of full time appointment maps to a compa-ratio of 1.16 for a comparison salary 1.16 times the midpoint salary of the range of salaries in the CIP.  Non-tenure-track faculty members whose salaries are less than the corresponding comparison salary will receive a pro rata share (individual salary differential as a percentage of total salary differential) of the reserve allocated to 2017 equity adjustments.  The distribution model for years two and three will be similar to the TTF Inversion Model described below.

TTF and NTTF Inversion Distribution Model

Effective January 1 (12-month appointments) and February 1 (9-month appointments) of 2017, for each Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP), each tenure-related faculty member with the rank of full or associate professor was evaluated for salary inversion, as compared to the corresponding salary distributions of 43 PSU peer institutions. These institutions included both Research 1 and Research 2 universities, and were identified using cluster analysis.  For CIPs where PSU peer institutions provide insufficient salary data for comparison, the salary data set for the Higher Research Activity Carnegie Classification was used for comparison.   Within a CIP salary data set, the comparison salary was determined by mapping to the salary distribution as a function of time in rank.  For example, a PSU associate professor with 5 years in rank was mapped to the median (50 percentile) of the associate professor salary distribution of the PSU peer institutions.  Similarly, a PSU full professor with 15 years in rank was mapped to the 70th percentile of the full professor salary distribution of the PSU peer institutions.  Tenure-related faculty members whose salaries were found to be less than the comparison salaries of the same or subordinate rank will receive a pro-rata share (individual salary inversion as a percentage of total salary inversion) of the reserve allocated for inversion and compression adjustments.  This approach will also be used to distribute the inversion/compression reserves allocated for years two (2018) and three (2019) to both TTF and NTTF.

José Padin, President

David Hansen, Vice President of Collective Bargaining

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