At a time when the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system is desperately trying to cut costs, CSCU professors are due a pair of 5.5 percent raises in 2019 and 2020.
According to the contract between the Connecticut Board of Regents and the Connecticut State University chapter of the American Association of University Professors, the maximum full-time wages for professors will increase from $117,299 per year in 2018 to $125,896 by 2022.
The cumulative 11 percent increase will also be applied to associate and assistant professors, instructors and coaches. Annual step increases will bump up salaries by another 4 percent during that period, and CSU-AAUP members will receive a $2,000 lump sum bonus this year, which will be pro-rated for part-time employees.
The wage contract was one of more than 30 approved by the state legislature as part of the 2017 State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) concessions agreement.
The news comes on the heels of CSCU’s announcement that it has come up with a revised “Students First” plan to consolidate its 12 community college members into one system, which it says will save it about $17 million annually. That initiative must be approved by accrediting agency the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which in April withheld approval of the original version of Students First. That version would have saved the system some $23 million, according to CSCU.
State Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano issued a statement condemning the scheduled raises.
“It is amazing how extreme benefits are for some state employees at the same time all other non-state union employees, tradespeople, local teachers, police, firefighters and students continue to struggle,” Fasano declared, classifying the 11 percent increases as “well above what anyone is experiencing in the private sector.”
“These raises again demonstrate how SEBAC has drained the Connecticut budget of funding for job programs, health care, elderly supports, social services and clearly even students,” Fasano said. “These contracts are a prime example of how SEBAC ignored the economic reality everyone outside of state government knows all too well. Once again, Connecticut put high-level state employees above all else, and it’s the most vulnerable who suffer as a result.”