U of I president defers salary program pending state budget

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University of Illinois President Timothy L. Killeen | AP file

URBANA — The University of Illinois is suspending its annual merit-based salary increase program until the state budget impasse is settled, Champaign-Urbana campus president Timothy Killeen said.

UI usually announces the salary program in July for the coming academic year and the raises take effect in August.

“It is imprudent to determine a 2015-16 salary program without knowing the university’s state appropriation, and we do not know how long the Statehouse budget impasse will last,” Killeen wrote in an email sent Tuesday to employees, according to The (Champaign) News-Gazette.

“Therefore, we are temporarily deferring consideration of a 2015-16 salary program until after the state budget is settled and we know exactly what has been promised as our appropriation,” he wrote.

Killeen said the school will revisit salaries once the state budget is resolved. Last year’s raises averaged 2.5 percent and cost about $27.6 million.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic leaders in the state Legislature haven’t agreed on a budget for the fiscal year that started July 1.

UI will honor raises that come from promotions or previously approved contracts, UI spokesman Tom Hardy said. The salary program deferral applies to workers regardless if they are paid with state money, school officials said.

Killeen also said the school will go ahead with academic personnel appointments for the 2015-2016 years so trustees can approve them in September but those will be made at current salary levels.

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