TSEA has closely monitored the Board of Trustees meetings of all universities since the legislative session concluded. Our aim is to inform our members about how the 5 percent salary pool, which was approved in the budget, is being distributed at each institution.
For the first time in several years, a tuition increase was allowed and some fee increases will also take effect. But even that would not make up the shortfall in the pool of money from the state budget to actually fund a full 5 percent raise across the board. The state funding for the higher ed salary pool provides about 65 percent of the total dollars needed for a full 5 percent raise for all employees. The difference can be made up by tuition increases, additional revenue from enrollment increases, or a funding formula based on graduation rates.
As of the publishing of this article, here are the details we’ve learned:
Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU):
The committee recommends a 3.2% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increase or a minimum of $1,250, whichever is greater, for regular employees. This increase will apply to full-time and part-time employees who are employed as of June 30, 2023, and in an active pay status on July 1, 2023. The proposed raises will not apply to adjunct faculty, temporary employees, graduate assistants, student workers, or employees with unsatisfactory work performance.
University of Memphis:
The University of Memphis Board of Trustees has finalized its budget proposal for the upcoming year. The approved budget includes a 3% raise for all employees and faculty members. Despite enrollment challenges, the university aims to support its staff and enhance their financial well-being.
Tennessee Board of Regents:
The Tennessee Board of Regents is expected to vote on a 3% raise for employees. Community colleges and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT) will have the flexibility to decide on a 2% raise. The final decision on raises will be made after enrollment figures are finalized in September. Furthermore, there is a possibility of offering one-time bonuses to employees, with details to be determined based on enrollment outcomes. The TBR board deserves appreciation for its decision to extend 6-week paid parental leave to employees, demonstrating a commitment to supporting work-life balance and employee well-being.
Tennessee State University (TSU):
The Tennessee State University (TSU) Board of Trustees is considering a 5% raise for its employees. This proposed increase aims to reward and retain talented staff members who contribute to the university’s success.
Tennessee Tech Board of Trustees:
The Tennessee Tech Board of Trustees has affirmed the compensation recommendation made in March. The approved plan utilizes 3% of the state budget’s 5% higher education salary pool. The raises will be merit-based, ranging from 1% for those meeting the minimum requirements to 7% for those deemed to be at the top of the merit range. Additionally, a salary study conducted by the Mercer group is currently underway, and the results will be implemented in the Fall. In March, the Board of Trustees voted to allocate 2% of the salary pool to address salary range increases and compression issues, which will benefit employees.
University of Tennessee (UT) System:
The board of trustees for the entire UT system has approved meeting the 5% salary pool for all employees throughout the system. This funding will be achieved through increases in tuition and fees, as well as increased enrollment and adjustments to the funding formula. Further details will be shared as more information becomes available.
Austin Peay State University (APSU):
APSU employees received a 4.5% salary increase or $2,500, whichever is greater, effective July 1, 2023. This raise does not apply to employees hired after December 31, 2022, and employees currently on a Performance Improvement Plan or receiving disciplinary action during the current evaluation cycle.
East Tennessee State University (ETSU):
The ETSU Board of Trustees will announce the final pay raise percentages at their Nov. 17 meeting. Additionally, payroll will soon transition to a bi-weekly payment schedule for all employees, and the University is working on ways to recruit for “hard to refill” positions as well as the ability to reward their top performers quickly.