Most NIU employees will receive a 2.5 percent salary increment in the March 30 payroll, thanks to a March 1 vote of the Board of Trustees.
The modest base increment is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012. Employees at the higher end of the salary curve will receive less than 2.5 percent.
This month’s boost in pay is the second phase of a multi-year salary stabilization program launched in October 2010 for faculty and staff. Tenured and tenure-track faculty also will receive a merit-based increment that represents approximately 1.75 percent of base salaries.
NIU President John Peters, who brought the salary increments to trustees, says the stabilization program represents the university’s best possible response to the state’s lack of prompt payment for employee health insurance claims.
“Illinois is now almost a year behind in paying routine health insurance claims for university employees,” Peters said.
As a result of those long delays, employees of NIU and other state agencies have endured a significant decline in health care benefits. Many health care providers have been forced to require payment up-front from university employees, Peters said.
“I wish I could report that the situation has been resolved. Unfortunately, the state’s lack of prompt payments to hospitals and medical providers in the region is now even worse than what it was in January 2011,” Peters said.
“Establishing and maintaining competitive faculty and staff salaries is, and always will remain, a top priority. Ever since I arrived on this campus in 2000, the state has either frozen or reduced its support of our operating base,” he added.
“This is the very best we can do under the difficult financial circumstances we face, circumstances not of our own making, but nevertheless, circumstances which we are forced to navigate for the indefinite future.”