The Montclair State Board of Trustees unanimously approved an average four percent salary increase for managerial staff, which includes administrators, on June 2, 2016. The increase represents a pool of available dollars, meaning the actual increase for each employee is based on performance and other factors.
“Managerial employees work diligently to support the students, faculty and staff at Montclair State University,” said Jerry Cutler, vice president of human resources at Montclair State. “The President and the Board of Trustees felt strongly that it was important to recognize their efforts with an appropriate salary increase.”
Managerial staff didn’t receive a raise for Fiscal Year 2016. However, the Board of Trustees previously approved a 3.5 percent, 3 percent and 3.5 percent increase for Fiscal Year 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively.
While administrators have received a raise for Fiscal Year 2017, negotiated raises for faculty, librarians and professional staff have been frozen since 2015 amid contentious, statewide negotiations between teacher unions and the State of New Jersey.
Montclair State Professor Richard Wolfson, who is also the president of the American Federation of Teachers Local 1904, criticized administrators for not equally pushing for the raises of its teachers.
“I don’t get the feeling that our upper level administrators are advocating for faculty, professional staff, librarians and specialist raises,” Wolfson said. “What bothers me, is that the [administration] should be advocating, as I would advocate for their raise, for our raises. I am for everybody getting raises. I’m for systematic raises. I’m not against the administrators getting their raise. It’s all boats rise with the tide.”
The university and the Board of Trustees don’t negotiate pay increases with faculty directly.
Rather, the negotiations are between teacher unions and the State of New Jersey. While Wolfson doesn’t believe that the administration is doing everything in its power to ensure raises for faculty, Cutler says that the university is doing its part.
“We are actively involved with the negotiation process, and are hopeful that the negotiations will produce a final agreement that recognizes the contributions made by our faculty and professional staff,” Cutler said. “Everyone who works on this campus, whatever his or her role, is a valued employee who should be compensated fairly.”
In addition to the divide between managerial and faculty raises, Wolfson also criticized the increase of administrative hirings.
“The explosion of administrative positions greatly concerns me because there is not a consummate explosion of tenured faculty positions,” Wolfson said. “Obviously, there are [administrative] positions that need to be filled.”
In the past year, the Board of Trustees has approved the appointments of 28 tenured faculty members and 78 managerial staff members.
Cutler believes that the addition of new managerial staff is warranted.
“The changing demands placed on universities have required the creation of some new positions,” Cutler said. “Growing programs, facilities and student enrollment has required more people working in areas such as financial aid, academic advising, student counseling and disabilities services, information technology, and energy and building infrastructure.”