Raises for local Federal and County workers

 
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
George Mason
0
0
0
0
3% +
Federal Government*
4.9%
4.9%
3.6%
4.3%
4.4%
Local Government:
Arlington
1.5%
3.0%
4.0%
2.8%
2%**
Fairfax***
2.5%
2.5%
2.5%
2.5%
2.5%
Loudoun****
6-8%
2-6%
2-4%
3.5%
0
Prince William
1.0%
3.0%
5.0%
3.5%
3.0%

+ Went into effect November 25, 2003.
* General federal raise plus Washington DC locality raise.
** 1% COLA raise plus 1% one-time lump sum.
*** Fairfax uses a merit raise system. Employees receive a 1/2 to 6% raise based on the points accrued on their annual performance review. 2.5% was used as an approximate average of the annual raises given.
**** Loudoun County gave additional raises to some positions in 2000-2004 to become more competitive with Fairfax County.


As you are all too well aware, salaries for most GMU faculty have been virtually stagnant since the year 2000, largely because of inadequate state funding for higher education and the fiscal problems caused by economic recession.

To put the salary issue in perspective, the Clerk of the Senate gathered data on how public employees have fared in the Northern Virginia area at federal and local levels of government, i.e., in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties. Information was gathered on the average percentage raise given each year since 2000.

To summarize this information, we calculated what a $10,000 salary in 2000 would have become in 2004 after annual raises; the results, which were presented to the Faculty Senate at its May meeting, are given below:

What $10,000 in 2000 salary would have become in 2004 after annual raises:

George Mason University
$10,532
Federal Employee
$12,413
Employee of:
Arlington County
$11,400
Fairfax County
$11,314
Loudoun County
$11,749
Prince William County
$11,645

Note that our standard of living has steadily eroded because, although salaries have changed little, property taxes have skyrocketed, insurance co-pays have increased, and the price of goods (especially beef and gasoline) and services have risen. And, average class size continues its upward trend at GMU.

As is immediately apparent, GMU faculty have not fared well relative to other public employees in the area, and in the long haul our ability to attract and retain colleagues will suffer—as will GMU’s reputation—unless steps are quickly taken to address the salary issue. As a faculty, we must make an effective case to the state’s political leadership that higher education must have greater support, for nothing less than the long-term economic health of the Commonwealth is at stake. In today’s global economy driven by technological change, quality education at the University level is essential for economic prosperity, and only an outstanding faculty can deliver a quality education.

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