Six months after inflation in the United States hit a four-decade high, the University announced a 2.5 percent midyear salary increase for most faculty, academic professionals and staff on Jan. 31. The salary increase, effective Feb. 1, does not apply to unionized workers working in the dining halls.
The raise, which applies to “eligible salaried and hourly University employees hired on or before Oct. 1, 2022,” comes in response to the inflation that “has affected the market competitiveness of some University salaries over the past year,” according to a memo sent to employees by Dean of the Faculty Gene A. Jarrett ’97.
Last June, inflation in the United States hit a high of 9.1 percent year-over-year, sending the prices of consumer goods soaring. Wages have not kept pace with inflation, growing 4.5 percent from May to November of last year, when inflation was at 7.1 percent.
According to an FAQ attached in the University’s announcement of the pay hike, this salary increase will supplement an additional one expected in July as a part of the Merit Increase Program.
The Merit Increase Program — which is determined by market information, economic indicators, as well as Princeton-specific, local, and national related data — will be effective on July 1, 2023, and is given based on staff performance ratings. According to a University website, staff “who perform at a ‘partially achieved expectations’ level or greater are normally eligible for an increase.”
Postdoctoral fellows, visiting faculty, senior scholars, and faculty and academic professionals whose salaries are contractually fixed by external agencies are ineligible for the 2.5 percent raise.
Postdocs recently received a pay hike to ensure a $65,000 minimum annual salary but on Jan. 19, they sent an open letter to Jarrett and Provost Deborah A. Prentice urging that this minimum be raised to $68,500 to account for the cost of living in Princeton.
Postdocs are excluded from this 2.5 percent raise because, according to a postdoc FAQ, any additional salary increases, beyond the $65,000 minimum, are to be determined by the principal investigators with whom they work.
Unionized workers are also excluded from this pay raise. This includes some campus dining staff members who are a part of the Service Employees International Union, which represents almost two million workers in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
University employees who have received salary increases of at least 2.5 percent on or since Oct. 2, 2022, those receiving this percentage raise “as part of a position reclassification or change effective Feb. 1, 2023,” and those who work for the Princeton University Investment Company or the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory are all ineligible for the raise as well.
The University referred the ‘Prince’ to the University announcement and attached FAQs when asked for comment.
Sandeep Mangat is a Head News Editor who has reported on labor shortages on and off campus, University guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and research led by Princeton faculty.
Please send any corrections to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.