One requirement stemming from the “Conciliation Agreement” with the Department of Labor is the establishment of a campus-wide salary review system for members of the faculty. Specifically, the language of this particular “Conciliation Action” is as follows:
The purpose of this communication is to describe a new salary review system for faculty which is to be implemented campus-wide no later than June 1, 1979. The system as described herein is available to any faculty member who believes his or her salary too low because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
It is important that we do more than simply react to charges of discrimination from faculty members and others. Our obligation is to assure ourselves and others of salary equity without waiting for charges to be filed. We must be prepared to analyze salary differences by race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
The reviews undertaken upon receipt of petition for review involve comparison of the petitioner’s record with the records of appropriate counterparts (e.g., a member of a racial minority group would be compared with counterparts of a different race; a female with counterparts who are male, etc.).
A part of the “Conciliation Agreement” stipulates that each department make available for inspection by any faculty member (a) information showing current individual faculty salaries by year of service and rank, and (b) a file of annually updated curriculum vitae on all faculty. The establishment of these files is intended to allow a faculty member to examine the accomplishments and salaries of persons considered to be peers and on that basis to make a personal decision as to whether his or her salary is fair or appears inappropriately low. On the basis of that decision a member of a faculty may then, if he or she chooses, file a petition with the executive officer of the department or unit. The petition must be in the form of a letter and must:
When a set of counterparts has been identified and it appears that a salary inequity might exist, the petition is referred to a standing committee or an ad hoc committee appointed by the executive officer for the purpose of advising the executive officer whether or not in their judgment a salary inequity does exist. This committee may be different from that which might have been consulted concerning an appropriate set of counterparts. It may need to meet with the executive officer to collect information, but should operate independently otherwise.
The departmental executive officers should consult with a committee that is credible to all parties involved. This may mean that an ad hoc committee will need to be used if a standing committee, which otherwise would be consulted, had been importantly involved in the previous determination of the petitioner’s salary.
If an ad hoc committee is appointed for the purpose, effort should be made to select persons who were not involved in previous salary determinations. It is, of course, especially important to select persons without known biases toward classes protected against discrimination by law. The review committee should be composed of three to five persons; in the case of small units an effort should be made to select persons from closely allied disciplines if a committee cannot be formed from within the unit.3 Persons who are likely to be counterparts for the petitioner should not be appointed to the review committee.
The review should focus upon those factors that are important determiners of salary in the unit of the petitioner. Some general comments on such factors may be found in Section III, but it is expected that the weighting of various factors will vary from unit to unit.
When the committee has completed its review, its recommendations are communicated in writing to the executive officer, who is charged with making a decision.
In the decision whether salaries are or are not equitable, due consideration should be given to overall plans or special circumstances that may be in effect with respect to salary structures within the department. In such cases there may be temporary salary discrepancies that are to be remedied within a reasonable time, for example two years, and the decision should refrain from interfering with such definite plans for remedy.
The decision of the unit’s executive officer is communicated in writing to the petitioner and for purposes of review to the administrator to whom the unit executive officer reports (hereafter referred to as “the reviewer”). This review considers the merits of the petition, in view of all materials examined at the departmental level. The review also assesses whether fair and proper procedures were followed and whether the decision at the departmental level was capricious, arbitrary, or inequitable. The review finding, sent as a letter to the unit executive officer with a copy to the petitioner, consists of either confirming or not confirming the decision of the executive officer. A recommendation of the unit executive that is not confirmed by the reviewer requires the officer to reconsider his or her recommendation. If the officer and the reviewer continue to disagree, the reviewer’s decision shall be final. The petitioner and the committee, of course, have the right to discuss the reviewer’s decision with him or her, but no higher administrative appeal will occur.
When a salary inequity is judged to exist, the unit executive officer makes an equity increase recommendation through administrative channels. Upon receiving final approval, the adjustment will be made in the next pay period. Retroactive salary increases will not be allowed.
If the petitioner is not satisfied with the outcome of the Salary Equity Review, he or she may file a grievance on the basis of discrimination under the Urbana-Champaign Campus Administrative Procedures for Complaints of Discrimination Faculty Academic/Professional Staff. It is not necessary to use the salary equity procedure before filing a grievance.
Examination of faculty salaries, overall on campus, reveals a substantial relationship between measures of seniority – such as rank, years since highest degree, years at UIUC, etc. – and annual salary. Yet within any set of faculty of roughly the same seniority there can be a large difference in salary. The difference can be categorized in terms of the effects of merit and discipline/market factors.
Merit factors consist of the indications of relative merit of performance in the areas of teaching, research and scholarship (or artistic production), and service that have been emphasized traditionally at UIUC when salary decisions are made. The belief is strongly held on campus that objective indicators of merit in the areas of performance must be evident in order to recommend promotion or salary increases above a minimum. It is upon that sort of care in personnel decisions that the relative merit of the campus effort as a whole ultimately rests. The specification of indicators in the three areas of performance and the relative weighting of them varies from discipline to discipline on campus because of the great diversity of disciplines represented.
In addition to merit and seniority factors, several othe determinants of individual salaries, and of overall salaries in different disciplines, have an influence at UIUC.
All such factors, i.e., merit factors, disciplinary factors, and market factors affecting individuals, are legitimate considerations in the determination of whether a specific salary is appropriate in any particular case. Thus, all should be considered when the salaries of a petitioner and his or her counterparts are compared, and in some cases it may be useful to analyze the impact of these factors on salaries over several years.