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UA to vote on pay raises for non-unionized staff

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Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 11:34 pm | Updated: 1:32 pm, Wed Jan 16, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — The University of Alaska Board of Regents on Wednesday will consider a 3.5 percent raise for non-unionized staff at the system’s campuses.

Regents, who are meeting in Fairbanks, will vote on the raise as part of their approval of the fiscal 2013 budget process. The proposed raise, which is recommended by UA President Pat Gamble, would go to about 3,000 employees throughout the UA system.

Gamble, in a memo announcing his recommendation, said “a fair and market based annual increase is appropriate and necessary to attract and retain qualified and dedicated staff employees.” The next fiscal year begins July 1.

Juella Sparks, chairwoman for the UA Staff Alliance, said the salary increase won’t actually translate into more compensation for many employees. UA hiked the employee deductibles in its health plan in July, and workers also will pay a slightly larger share of health plan costs in the future.

Sparks said she’ll actually take a small pay cut once the deductibles are factored in, even if regents do approve the 3.5 percent increase. But she said the Staff Alliance believed a larger raise wasn’t likely, considering the tough economic climate.

“We proposed a 3.5 percent (increase) recognizing the fiscal challenges the university faces,” she said.

The proposed staff salary increase follows new contracts approved with two UA faculty unions in June. The University of Alaska Federation of Teachers and United Academics, which represents more than 1,300 employees

combined, each agreed to three-year deals with 2.5 percent annual raises through 2013.

UA also signed agreements with its maintenance workers, adjunct faculty members and Fairbanks firefighters earlier in the year.

The proposed staff raise is part of a $924 million UA operating budget that regents will consider Wednesday, a 3.7 percent increase from the current fiscal year. The increases are attributable to salary increases, a 7 percent hike in utility costs, facility maintenance and repair, and operating costs for several new facilities.

Regents also will vote on a request for $202 million in state funds for the university’s capital budget. Of that, $137.5 million would go toward deferred maintenance, with $50 million set aside for annual building renewal.

If approved by regents, the funding requests will be passed on to Gov. Sean Parnell and the Legislature for consideration.

The meeting will be held at Room 109 at the Butrovich Building at the UAF campus. A full agenda is available at www.alaska.edu/bor/agendas.

Contact staff writer Jeff Richardson at 459-7518.

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