Winthrop University: Staff Assembly - Staff Feedback

Staff Feedback Committee

    As a follow up to questions concerning employee raises, below is some information we gathered and wanted to share with the rest of the staff.

    • The last across-the-board raise (legislated salary increases) was an increase of 3.25% that was made effective July 1, 2016.
      •  Legislated salary increases are determined by the state legislature and mandated for all state employees.
      • The salary increases resulted in an additional $2 million in personnel costs for Winthrop; the state provided Winthrop with a little more than $400,000 for the increases. In this situation, Winthrop was/is responsible for determining how to fund the remaining portion of the cost.
      • In addition, for each dollar ($1) associated with a salary increase, the fringe benefit cost to the university increased by a percentage based on the type of employment. Fringe benefit costs include the employer portion of health benefits and retirement and taxes (Social Security, federal and state taxes, etc.) The fringe benefit cost associated with the 2016 legislated salary increases was in excess of $775,000. Again, in this situation, Winthrop was responsible for determining how to fund the additional costs.
      • In general, the state tends to fund only about 20-25% of employee salary and fringe benefit costs.
    • Also effective in 2016, the employee portion of the retirement contribution for all state employees increased by .5%, which technically was a partial offset of the raise employees received that year.
    • While it is unfortunate that the retirement contribution increased at the same time as the pay, it is, perhaps, some small consolation that without the pay increase happening at the same time, we would have seen what appeared to be a decrease in take-home pay due to the retirement increase.
    • Are employees receiving salary increases now?
      • Despite common misconception, there are occasional raises happening around campus; they’re just generally limited to certain types of raises. Traditional ‘merit’ or performance-related raises are not generally happening right now (many employees may deserve a performance increase, but that’s just not financially feasible at this time).
      • Some folks have received increases when they acquired more and/or higher-level duties, for retention purposes (i.e., someone gets a job offer for more money elsewhere and we give them a raise so that they will stay at the university), and when possible to address internal equity (adjusting an existing employee’s salary based on the salary offered to a new hire).
      • And, we are all aware of that some folks have received salary increases as a result of the competitive compensation initiatives over the past few years.
      • As difficult as it is, the important thing for us to remember is that employee compensation is now part of Winthrop’s strategic plan, so determining how to address salary concerns IS a priority.
    • Additional information we learned regarding state funding to Winthrop:
      • In 1991, the state provided Winthrop with approximately 40% of the annual budget funding, and in 2017 it was more like 9%. This dramatic change in funding was mostly attributable to the recession that hit in 2008, at which time the state was providing the funding for approximately 20% of our budget.
      • Despite the economy bouncing back after a few rough years, the state has not gone back to funding higher education in the way that it did before 2008. For example, in 2008, the university’s state appropriation was $25 million, but for several years since 2008, that amount was reduced to $12 million.
      • In 2018, the appropriation amount is $16 million, but mandated salary and benefit costs, as well as other costs, have significantly increased during the years since 2008.

    The sign that used to be placed on Alumni Drive to notify vehicles that the Margaret Nance parking lot was closed will no longer be used. This is for a number of reasons:

    • The sign was routinely hit by passing cars. This caused damage to the sign, making it look less than presentable, and also presented a liability issue.
    • The sign had to be placed very frequently and this was decided to not be the best use of Campus Police’s limited time and resources as it took officers away from their normal duties.
    • Faculty and staff are informed about all Margaret Nance parking lot closures a day ahead of time via the Daily Digest, making the sign superfluous.

    Be sure to read your Daily Digest—parking lot closures will be announced one day ahead of time.

    For information regarding furloughs see Human Resources Furlough FAQs page.

Last Updated: 11/30/20