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UNI's Faculty Union and Administration Reach Major Accord on Salary Equity

The following press release was issued by the United Faculty of the University of Northern Iowa. A joint statement from the university president and United Faculty president follows.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 12, 2016
CONTACT: Joe Gorton, Ph.D., President, United Faculty, 319-610-2540, joe.gorton@uni.edu

UNI’S Faculty Union and Administration Reach Major Accord on Salary Equity 

Agreement Resolves Pay Inequalities for UNI Faculty

(CEDAR FALLS, Iowa) –After two years of collaboration between the University of Northern Iowa faculty union and the UNI administration, a major agreement has been reached to rectify faculty salary inequities.

The agreement will result in an increase of $155,064 in salaries to 51 faculty members of the union’s bargaining unit. Out of 51 faculty salary adjustments, 36 (70%) are for women. Among the 15 men, 4 are racial/ethnic minorities. A total of 78% of the adjustments correct inequities in the salaries of women or minority faculty.

An additional $13,428 was recommended for distribution across the annual salaries of four faculty department heads.

In their joint statement to UNI faculty, United Faculty President Joe Gorton and Interim UNI President Jim Wohlpart said the agreement was the product of work by a joint Salary Equity Committee. According to their statement the joint committee, “conducted a regression analysis to identify faculty who may not be paid equitably based upon such factors as years of service, rank, years at rank, discipline, gender, and service as department head. Based on this analysis, the Committee identified a number of faculty salaries that should be further analyzed by looking at two factors not included in the regression analysis: prior experience and job performance.”

Gorton cited three reasons for the importance of the agreement. “First, it corrects a substantial inequity that unjustly held down the wages of dozens of faculty members. Second, it exemplifies the positive UNI labor-management collaboration that has again yielded concrete results for faculty and our families. Third, it prevents the parties from pursuing a legalistic remedy that would have been extremely time consuming, expensive and conflictual. Outside of contract negotiations, this is the most important labor-management agreement in the history of UNI.” 

In their joint statement, Wohlpart and Gorton singled out the contributions Associate Provost Nancy Cobb and Associate Professor of Sociology Carissa Froyum. “We would like to thank those faculty and administrators who were involved in the important work of the joint Salary Equity Committee, in particular, Dr. Froyum and Associate Provost Cobb.” Gorton added, “The truth is, this outcome would not have been possible without the concerted and expert efforts of Carissa who represented the union and Nancy who represented the administration. 
Dr. Froyum, who has written extensively about social inequalities, said the statistical inquiry yielded a fair solution. “Our examination of the data, including both statistical and qualitative was extremely thorough. We are very pleased with the validity and reliability of the findings. This is a great example of how solid analysis leads to appropriate problem solving.” 

United Faculty Attorney Nate Willems emphasized the importance of the union involvement in the agreement. “This collaboration between labor and management at UNI is unprecedented,” said Willems.  “However, it is only possible because university professors have the right to form a union and bargain a contract, and the union leadership at UNI has actively stood up for all faculty on campus.”

United Faculty, established in 1976, is the chief negotiating agent for the University of Northern Iowa’s faculty, and is affiliated with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

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Dear Colleagues:

As we prepare to begin another academic year, we write to share with you the results of a critical collaboration between United Faculty and UNI administration to investigate the possibility of inequity in faculty salaries.  In the fall of 2014, United Faculty and UNI administration convened a joint Salary Equity Committee to look into this issue.  The following faculty and administrators agreed to serve on this important committee:

• Adam Butler, Department Head, Psychology
• Nancy Cobb, Associate Provost for Faculty
• Carissa Froyum, Associate Professor, Sociology
• John Fritch, Dean, CHAS/Lisa Jepsen, Associate Dean, CBA
• Timothy Kidd, Associate Professor, Physics
• Kathleen Scholl, Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology, Allied Health and Human Services

After receiving feedback from faculty about a process to review equity in faculty pay, the Salary Equity Committee designed and conducted a regression analysis to identify faculty who may not be paid equitably based upon such factors as years of service, rank, years at rank, discipline, gender, and service as department head.  Based on this analysis, the Committee identified a number of faculty salaries that should be further analyzed by looking at two factors not included in the regression analysis:  prior experience and job performance.

This past spring, the Salary Equity Committee presented the findings of its analysis to United Faculty leadership, Faculty Senate leadership and UNI administrators.  United Faculty and UNI administration then asked Carissa Froyum, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Nancy Cobb, Associate Provost for Faculty, to work together to analyze additional data reflecting prior experience and job performance to recommend what adjustments should be made to the salaries of faculty members identified by the Salary Equity Committee’s regression analysis.
After analyzing extensive information about prior experience and job performance for each faculty member identified by the Salary Equity Committee’s analysis, Dr. Froyum and Associate Provost Cobb jointly recommended salary adjustments that they believed should be implemented.  This summer, Dr. Froyum and Associate Provost Cobb presented their joint recommendations to us.  UNI agreed to make these recommended salary adjustments effective for the current fiscal year.  Faculty who received a salary adjustment were notified by letter and e-mail on August 10, 2016.

We would like to thank those faculty and administrators who were involved in the important work of the Salary Equity Committee, in particular, Dr. Froyum and Associate Provost Cobb.  As a result of this collaboration between United Faculty and UNI administration, we believe we have successfully identified and resolved an important issue here at UNI.
________________________________________
Awe & Wonder,                            Onward,
A. James Wohlpart                     Joe Gorton
Interim President                        President, United Faculty 

Publication Date: 
Friday, August 12, 2016