[Vision2020] Idaho Government - State workers to get 1% bonus

Ron Force rforce at moscow.com
Wed Aug 4 14:40:29 PDT 2004

All raises at the UI (including faculty) have been delayed until January. At
that point, 2% will be distributed on merit.

The reason for the delay is that the Legislature only appropriated 1% for
Higher Ed raises, so a 2% raise for 6 months =1% for the year. The UI didn't
have the 1%, and that additional expenditure will be carried forward into FY
06 as an addition to the deficit that the Vision and Resources Task Force is
attempting to cure. Several members of the legislature remarked that because
the universities raised fees by 8% they could get the money from the
students. Of course, paying for faculty salaries would be tuition, and
that's forbidden by the constitution.  They were just low-balling higher ed.

They did the same thing with the bonuses.  Here's the story from the
Lewiston Trib:

Bonuses to skip some employees; 1 percent salary bonus will reach select few
in Idaho higher education

Joel Mills

MOSCOW -- Only selected employees at Idaho colleges and universities are
likely to reap the 1 percent salary bonus triggered by this year's budget

At over $26 million, the surplus is $15 million more than the state
anticipated just three weeks ago. House Bill 805, passed by the Legislature
and signed by Gov. Dirk Kempthorne earlier this year, has already given many
state employees a 2 percent raise based on their job status and performance.

And the same bill provided for the 1 percent bonus if the surplus was large
enough. But legislators only set aside $1.6 million for higher education,
and it would take $2.2 million to fund an across-the-board bonus, according
to Kempthorne's financial officers.

So some employees will have to go without a bonus. Now the governor, with
extra guidance from House leadership, is trying to decide just who gets the
bonus, and who doesn't

"You have a state statute that says we have a merit-based pay system,"
Kempthorne press secretary Mike Journee said Wednesday from his Boise
office. But on the other hand, Journee said, the House did not stipulate
that the bonus be merit-based.

"Does that (the bonus) include people who have only been here for four
months and are still on a probationary period?" Journee asked. "Does that
include folks who are on a probationary period because their performance
isn't as high as it should be? Those are the kinds of questions the governor
is asking."

House Speaker Bruce Newcomb, R-Burley, has said that there is a split
between legislators on how to disperse the bonus. One compromise on the
table would give the bonus across the board, but leave out temporary help
and employees who work less than 20 hours a week. Probationary status
employees could also be left out.

But UI history professor Dale Graden thinks the bonus should be directed at
employees on the low end of the pay scale first, and not be merit-based.

"Any pay increases ought to start with staff because they are the lowest
paid and they have the most tenuous circumstances," said Graden, who is also
president of the UI chapter of the American Federation of Teachers union.

"So I'd start with that and work upwards," he added. "Not full professors,
and certainly no administrators. Staff, lecturers and assistant professors
(should get the bonus)."

About 20 percent of the UI's employees are paid below the state poverty
level of $18,400 per year.

Jane McClaren in the governor's Division of Financial Management said state
employees should start receiving 1 percent checks by October, regardless of
the dispute over who gets them.

University of Idaho employees still have to wait until January for their 2
percent raise due to the school's ongoing financial crisis. Other state
employees, including those at Lewis-Clark State College, saw their raise
take effect this month. Their pay rate had been static for over two years
due to the statewide budget crisis.


Mills may be contacted at jmills at lmtribune.com

This electronic edition of the Lewiston Morning Tribune is protected by
© 2004 Tribune Publishing Co. Inc.

Ron Force          Dean of Library Services
U of Idaho         PO Box 442350
Moscow ID 83844    rforce at uidaho.edu
(208) 885-6534

-----Original Message-----
From: vision2020-bounces at moscow.com
[mailto:vision2020-bounces at moscow.com]On Behalf Of hayfields at moscow.com
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2004 9:45 AM
To: vision2020 at moscow.com
Subject: RE: [Vision2020] Idaho Government - State workers to get 1%

I must have missed that story! I wonder if Shirley Ringo or Tom Trail could
share with us the reasoning behind the decision to give higher ed employees
less than other state workers?
Here at UI the staff(although, not I think faculty- Ron be sure to jump
in:) )
have had merit raises put on hold until at least December. In all fairness,
they have agreed to reassess the situation at that time and see if maybe it
be disbursed. I know that the staff at UI understands that not getting
may mean we all get to stay employed- something I gladly give up my raise
We don't want to get 1% and then watch our co-worker lose their job!

But the bonus seems to be a different matter, and after seeing that there
money for the task force to recieve well in excess( for most of them) of a
raise (and where in the budget DID that money come from anyway?) we are a
little tetchy about $$$
Tom, Shirley, it would be great if you could explain it to me/us!

Heather Jordan
Hayfields Farm

There was a story a few weeks ago in the Statesman that explained that the
> legislature had authorized funding only half the bonus for Higher Ed
> employees, just like they did for the 2% raises.
> **********************************************
> Ron Force          Moscow ID USA
> rforce at moscow.com
> **********************************************
> You have been sent the following article from Heather Jordan as a courtesy
> of The Idaho Statesman.
> "Idaho Government - State workers to get 1% bonus"
> To view this article on The Idaho Statesman website, go to:
> http://www.idahostatesman.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2004408040325
> The following is a short message from Heather Jordan:
> Does anyone know if the UI will be disbursing this money or will they be
> hanging on to it until December (along with the already allocated merit
> increases).
> _____________________________________________________
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