Staff Council mulling resolution calling for classified staff raises

After Boulder push, systemwide group gathering input from other campuses

University of Colorado Staff Council members will seek more feedback from campus councils and constituents before endorsing a resolution drafted by the Boulder Campus Staff Council concerning a non-base building payment for classified staff.

The resolution requests that the University of Colorado Board of Regents collaborate with Boulder’s Office of the Chancellor to create a reserve fund pool for the payments. At least one campus — the University of Colorado Colorado Springs – has set aside a funding pool for potential raises.

If all campus councils agree to support the resolution, the Staff Council could use the contents of the Boulder document to draft a systemwide resolution urging the regents to provide support for classified staff raises.

“We believe these resolutions start the process, and if we continue to push to keep it on people’s agendas, that it will generally create some type of successful outcome,” said Randi Viola, Boulder Council co-chair. The systemwide Staff Council met Oct. 18 at CU-Boulder’s University Memorial Center.

Many classified staff members have not been given a pay increase for four or more years, according to the resolution. Tensions over the issue increased earlier this year after some employees received merit pay or raises that came from a regent-approved, 3 percent salary pool.

Boulder drafted the resolution in part because of a change in legislation that took effect Sept. 1. The legislation, HB12-1321, replaces the state’s “pay for performance” initiative with a new merit pay system that is based on employees’ performance, years of service and placement within a salary range. The intent of the law is to ensure employees are paid toward the mid-range of market value salaries.

A recent salary survey, released in August, found that CU classified employees are paid, on average, about 9 percent under market value.

Lisa Landis, director of human resources, CU system, said the university still is interpreting the new legislation to determine how it will push salaries toward the middle. She said while the university has a fiduciary responsibility to pay market rates, it would cost about $2 million to move lower pay rates toward the required minimum. The university has the option to transition those pay rates over a period of several years.

Staff Council will decide at its next meeting on Nov. 8 in Colorado Springs how to proceed on the resolution.

Boulder Council also drafted a resolution earlier this year calling for an improved performance management system. Following a discussion, Staff Council decided to address that resolution at an upcoming meeting.