Introduction to FAQ ON the Selective-Salary Review Process

The Selective-Salary Review process in the WSU/AAUP-AFT Agreement remains essentially the same as it was in previous contracts. However, a modified provision was introduced during the most recent contract negotiations. It was clear to the Union that the Administration wanted a review process that could serve as the first step for certain tenured Faculty and ESS holders among the Academic Staff to be removed from their jobs if the Administration considered them to be low performers. In other words, they wanted the annual salary-committee deliberations to be integrated into an Administrator-driven de-tenuring or ESS-removal process.

In contrast, the Union negotiating team countered with language stating that if a Faculty or Academic-Staff member was found to be performing at substantially below the unit's factors and norms, the salary committee might recommend to the chair/director/dean that a peer mentoring committee be established. That peer mentoring committee would work with Faculty or Academic-Staff members to help improve their performance.

The purpose of the language in the new contract was to make it clear that the mentoring process was remedial, not punitive, and was not linked to a de-tenuring or ESS-removal process. The following Frequently Asked Questions are intended to clarify the remedial nature of the process. The Administration continues to have the same power, no more and no less, than it had in the past with respect to initiating a de-tenuring or ESS-removal process for a member of the bargaining unit under the relevant Board of Governors’ statutes. This new contract does not grant the Administration any new powers in this matter.

It is the hope of the Union that the mentoring process will be used in the spirit that it was agreed to by our negotiators. It will be closely watched in any implementation of its terms, and we will be quick to address any unfair application of its terms.

Selective-Salary Review Process FAQ

Article 24, Section C

1. What is the Selective-Salary Review process?

The purpose of the Selective-Salary Review process is twofold. It is a peer-review process to identify and reward good performance, and to provide support and mentoring when long-term performance substantially below disciplinary norms and unit factors is identified. The process is not intended to be punitive. The use of the mentoring process is expected to be rare, as was stated repeatedly by the Administration during negotiations.

2. Is it required?

Yes.

3. What happens if a member does not participate in the Selective-Salary Review process?

If a member chooses not to participate, that member will not be eligible for the selective-salary increase. Failure to participate in the Selective-Salary Review process two (2) times or more in any five (5)-year period shall also result in no across-the-board raise and no selective-salary increase for the second year. Additionally, Faculty who choose not to participate will not be eligible for travel support and will receive no credit toward sabbatical leaves.

4. What materials must be submitted in the Selective-Salary Review process?

The Selective-Salary Review requires bargaining-unit members to submit an “annual selective-salary report.” For Faculty, this consists of an updated professional record, a summary of the last three (3) years of activities, a summary of current activities with expected results, and teaching evaluations for the previous year (these are available to the committee from the departmental office). This is no different from the report Faculty members were expected to submit in the past. For Academic Staff, this consists of an updated professional record, a summary of the last three (3) years of activities (instead of one year, as in the past), and a presentation of current activities and expected results. The annual reports are NOT intended to be extensive packets, such as those prepared for ESS, tenure, or promotion.

5. Who initiates the Selective-Salary Review process?

The unit salary committee.

For Academic Staff in departments that do not have sufficient numbers of Academic Staff with ESS/tenure to form a committee, the salary committee refers to the School/College or division salary committee. If the School/College or division does not have sufficient numbers, the unit salary committee refers to the University Academic-Staff Tenure and Promotion Committee.

6. Who decides the outcome of the Selective-Salary Review process?

As in prior years, the unit salary committees make recommendations to the dean/director regarding selective-salary increases.

With regard to remediation, the Selective-Salary Committee is also charged with making recommendations for improvement when a Faculty member falls short of expectations in research, teaching and/or administrative/University service, or when an Academic-Staff

member falls short of expectations in job performance. The Selective-Salary Committee may recommend that a mentoring committee be established when performance is identified as substantially below norms and factors. It can also make a judgment as to the peer mentoring committee’s effectiveness in any annual selective-salary review and determine if mentoring should cease or be referred to the chair/dean/director for further action. Any actions taken by the chair/dean/director must conform to the contract and Board of Governors’ statutes.

7. What is the role of the chair or department head?

Aside from serving on a unit salary committee with vote, the chair (or Administrator of equal function) should only be involved if and when the salary committee recommends a mentoring committee. At that point, s/he selects one (1) of the three (3) members of the mentoring committee. After this, the chair is only involved if and when the salary committee concludes (at least one year from the initiation of the mentoring committee) that the remediation/mentoring process is not working and reports this to the chair (or equivalent Administrator).

8. Who is on the peer mentoring committee?

The mentoring committee will consist of three (3) bargaining unit members of equal rank or higher: one (1) chosen by the salary committee, one (1) chosen by the chair/dean/director of the unit, and one (1) chosen by the bargaining-unit member being mentored.

9. Is there money set aside for any professional development recommended by the peer mentoring committee?

Yes. Every year, $75,000 will be set aside for Faculty, and $25,000 will be set aside forAcademic Staff. The Provost’s Office will administer these funds and will issue an annual report of their distribution.

10. What are the possible outcomes of the peer mentoring committee?

If the unit salary committee finds the improvement program to have been effective, then the peer mentoring committee is disbanded. If the unit salary committee finds the improvement program to have been ineffective, then the unit salary committee will either recommend a continuation of the program, or refer the matter to the chair/dean/director. Keep in mind, the committee can also recommend funding to support the mentoring process (see #9 above).

* The across-the-board raise in 2013-14 is 1.375%.

In future years of this contract, it is 1.25%.

The selective-salary raise is 1.375% in 2013-14.

In future years of this contract, it is 1.25%.