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Health Center Today, August 11, 2010

Board Votes to Freeze Managerial Salaries Next Year

By Richard Veilleux

The University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees voted to freeze the salaries of all non-union managers and employees exempted from collective bargaining at UConn – including the Health Center – during fiscal year 2012. It is the second time in three years that managerial and exempt wages will have been frozen for the Storrs and regional campuses and the third time in four years for the Health Center.

All Storrs-based and regional employee salaries were frozen in fiscal 2010. Health Center salaries were frozen in 2009 and 2010.

In the current fiscal year, non-union managers and exempt employees for the Storrs-based programs will receive a merit increase of up to 4.99 percent. Their counterparts at the Health Center will receive an increase of up to four percent.

Board policy dating to 1977 mandates that non-union employees at the Storrs-based programs receive the same wage increases as unionized employees. Between fiscal years 2010 and 2012, the average annual non-union increase will be 0.9 percent for Storrs and the regional campuses, when furlough days are taken into account.

The increases for management/exempt employees will take effect August 13.

“In light of the financial challenges both the University and the state continue to face, another wage freeze next year for UConn managers is the right thing to do,” said Board Chair Larry McHugh. “Like the rest of the state, we are grappling with Connecticut’s budgetary reality, and need to make our share of sacrifices while at the same time also being fair to our employees.”

This fiscal year’s managerial increase requires no action by the board.

“Two-thousand and twelve will be an exceptionally difficult budget year,” said UConn President Philip E. Austin. “At this point, we can’t predict what kind of fiscal shape we’ll be in after that, so managerial salaries will be flat for one year at a minimum. We have particularly lean management and exempt staffs at UConn, and their continued hard work is incredibly valuable to the institution.”

In addition to wage freezes in the current fiscal year, both union and non-union employees at the University – including the Health Center – will have taken a total of seven mandatory unpaid furlough days by the end of 2010. In 2009, all employees began to pay a greater share of their healthcare costs, and employees with less than five years’ service must now also contribute an additional 3 percent of their annual salaries to help fund healthcare in retirement.