Employees should be thankful for pay increase

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Since 2008 full-time employees of Missouri Western have gone three consecutive years across the board without a pay increase, until now. During the June Board of Governors meeting, the group approved of a 2 percent salary increase for full-time faculty and staff.

If you can recall last year Missouri Western was cut by 8.2 percent in state allocations for higher education. Western is one of the lowest funded universities in the state of Missouri and was hit the hardest.

This editorial is not to point a finger at who is to blame for the cut in funding, but to thank the Board of Governors, and President Vartabedian for finding a little extra funding to help the employees who work tirelessly for this institution. This editorial is also to let them know that there is still more that needs to be done.

Vartabedian said that those who will benefit from the pay increase are all personnel, faculty, staff and administrators who have been employed by the university since March 31, 2012. So the rumors about students getting pay increases are a myth. Vartabedian said students fall in a different category since they are paid an hourly wage.

Although many students support the idea that educators deserve a pay increase, students might also question the increase is coming directly from their own pockets. However, Vartabedian explains that it is not-at least not directly.

Vartabedian says it’s a combination from student success fees that come from the Student Success Act, this year’s tuition increase of 3.22 percent and state appropriations. We feel its great that the university was able to find a way to give a little something to the employees, as some have been working here for years and have had no pay increase since the day they started.

Though a 2 percent increase will help the personnel, faculty, staff and administrators who have been employed since March 31, that percent really doesn’t make a real difference in their salaries.

For example if a professor makes around $50,000 a year, with the 2% increase they would only make an extra $1000.

So does this really benefit an employee receiving this increase? The answer is both yes and no. Not everyone will agree; some will be thankful for the little extra cash and others will think it isn’t enough.

Vartabedian agrees that the 2 percent increase is not enough and feels the frustration of those who believe it needs to be more.

So to those who received the extra 2 percent increase to your salary, be thankful. We are in one of the worst economic times since the great depression and you never know when another increase will come again. Though we and Vartabedian both wish the increase could be more, at least it’s a start.

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