After the last legislative session, NFA applauded the compensation increases that were given for faculty, while stressing the need for full funding of merit, as had been our position during the session. We argued that if the state did not fund merit, the system or the institutions should.
The following was NFA testimony to the Regents, delivered by NFA President Jim Strange shortly after the end of the legislative session. We continue to adhere to this position and fight for merit.
The Nevada Faculty Alliance urges the NSHE Board of Regents, Chancellor Klaich and the Institution presidents to fund a 2.5% merit increase for NSHE professional staff for each year of the coming biennium. Awarding of merit should proceed according to policies approved at each institution. Awarding of meritshould under no circumstances be detrimental to existing professional positions.
• Since 2008, NSHE professional staff have endured reduced salaries due to reductions to base pay, furloughs, and a lack of merit pay funding or COLA, while experiencing higher workload.
• All NSHE employees should be treated equally in terms of merit funding. Nevada classified employees received a merit (step) increase of 2.5% in each year of the coming biennium, whereas NSHE professionals received no merit increase. Awarding merit unequally to NSHE employees will not be beneficial to morale, and could negatively impact our service to students and communities.
• As Nevada recovers economically, it’s only fair for NSHE professionals be recognized and compensated for their sacrifices during the recession.
• Nevada is losing its regional competitiveness in its ability to attract and retain high quality professional staff. This has left NSHE institutions at risk of not achieving the levels of student success, transformational research, commercialization of technologies and workforce development which are crucial to Nevada’s economic future.
• Community college faculty have recently moved from the traditional step system for salaries, and revised evaluation systems to accommodate a true merit-based salary system. Failing to award merit in the first year of full implementation of the new true merit system would be detrimental to morale and call into question the validity of the new system.