What if the Board of Directors of your company came to you and said. “You know what we just don’t have any money right now.” You might say, “well these are tough times and I understand, I don’t need a raise and in fact I will help you lower our healthcare costs. I will research all the companies and get us a good deal.”
A couple months go by and you receive an awesome health care offer that would save the company over $4 million dollars! You feel pretty proud. You go to the board and tell them. (all the while thinking, “Isn’t this their job to do? I was hired to teach”) They think that is great, they buy into the system. It should save money for everyone right, since you pay 15% of your premium, you might even pay less? Well no, now the company wants you to pay 21% of your premium and offer you a lower coverage tiered system.
It’s bad, but you want to keep your job, not go on strike and well frankly you are used to being kicked in the head. But then your boss says, you are not getting a raise for 5 years. Huh, 5 years? That’s crazy! Increase health insurance and no raise for 5 years?
Now it looks a bit ugly. But here is the real kicker. At the 11th hour of contract negotiations the offer is increased. You would be offered a 2.5% “bonus” (2.5% of salary or around $1400-$1900 for people with 10+ years at the company) based on revenue streams for the year. The bonus would be paid over 12 months. It would not be added to base pay, therefore it does not help retirement or build your base salary. That looks even worse. Then in years 3, 4, and 5 the “bonus” would drop to 2% unless revenue went up substantially and if it really went up, you might get as high as a 4% “bonus.” Gee thanks!
What do you suppose this person’s job is? A sales person obviously. No, an academic. A University Professor. Long Island University’s Board of Director’s wants to tie in “bonus” wages to sales of credit hours instead of giving any raises. To top it off, it is the combined revenue of two different campuses, one in Brooklyn and one on Long Island. Completely different staff operates the two universities; C.W.Post looses money annually and it has a different union for their staff and faculty. We have completely separate contracts.
But let’s look at all the ways the university can create revenue anyway. Johnny applies to LIU for college despite a 3rd grade reading level and 1st grade math level. Admit him! Revenue. Suzy goes to her adviser. Suzy wants to take 12 credit hours because she knows that is all she can handle. But Suzy’s adviser convinces here to take 18 telling her “she can handle it.” Suzy signs ups, is quickly overwhelmed, drops out but, but guess what? We got her money! Revenue. Oh but wait, we want more of Suzy’s money so perhaps we can just pass her even though she never came to class. This will entice her to return and spend more money. Revenue. The contract is not only unfair to faculty it is unfair to students, and that is a huge concern. Can you have a university without faculty? Well if it were possible, LIU would figure out a way to do it. Want numbers? check out liuff.org
Should we just suck it up, take the pay reduction and be happy we have jobs? I would love to hear comments.