Penn State plans 2.5% wage increase for employees

Penn State plans to increase employee salaries by 2.5% for 2022-23, under a plan the board will vote on Friday.

The university’s board of trustees’ finance committee approved the salary increase recommendation at its meeting on Thursday after a presentation by chief financial officer Sara Thorndike.

“We know the proposed general wage increase is quite modest at 2.5%, and we want our employees to know that they are important to us,” Thorndike said.

Michelle Rodino-Colocino, faculty member and associate professor of media studies, noted that inflation is over 9%.

“We need a cost of living adjustment that follows inflation. Otherwise, this 2.5% pay increase is actually a significant pay cut,” she said.

President of the Penn State American Association of University Professors, Rodino-Colocino said she is concerned about faculty, staff and student debt and the need for more state funding.

“The long-term answer really has to be a commitment to fully fund public higher education as a common good,” she said.

A Penn State spokesperson noted that “Pennsylvania ranks among the lowest states in the nation each year for per capita support for higher education, hovering over the years between 46th and 49th among the 50 States”.

According to the university, autonomous units, including Intercollegiate Athletics, the College of Medicine, Penn State Health and the Applied Research Laboratory, set and pay their own salary increases. Wage increases for unionized employees are covered by their collective agreements.

The full board will vote on the pay raise tomorrow at its meeting in Penn State York. If approved, the wage increases will be retroactive to July 1 and take effect with employees’ August 2022 paychecks.

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William M. Mayer