The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

Nicholls full-time employees to receive salary supplement

February 16, 2017

Nicholls State University administration is issuing a salary supplement increase for current full-time employees who worked as a full-time status employee during the fiscal year of 2015-2016 in March.    

As of Jan. 31, Nicholls has 622 full-time employees, 247 faculty, 181 unclassified staff, 181 classified staff and 13 administrators, according to Stephanie Verdin, director of the department of University Marketing and Communications. However, not all full-time employees are eligible to receive the salary supplement.

The supplement base is $500 and will be automatically disbursed to all eligible full-time employees.  Another $250 per employee will compose a poll that will be directed to each office and department on campus. The head of the department or supervisor will distribute this money. The criteria and amount of money to be distributed to each employee will be determined by those supervisors individually, and can reach the maximum cap of $250.

University President Bruce Murphy said that after getting the 14th class day statistics earlier this month, the administration came to an agreement that there was enough student-generated revenue in the general fund to afford the pay supplement.

“When you do something like that, you are taking a risk,” Murphy said. “We have been hit with further budget cuts this spring, but we didn’t have any big emergencies happening, so we will be able to do that [salary supplement] this year.”

The supplementary pay increase will be in effect during March’s paycheck for a couple of reasons. The first reason is the time frame necessary to perform the administrative measures that needs to take place before a supplement pay can be executed.

Another benefit for disbursing the money in March, according to Murphy, is because there are two pay periods during the year in which a reduced number of taxes are taken out of the sum amount of the salary.

“When you get that check, it’s going to be that supplement amount, with only income tax being taken out of it,” Murphy said.

This is the second time during his administration as Nicholls President that full-time employees receive a salary supplement. The first time that happened was in 2015.

“I did that two years ago, because every place I went, every office I talked to said they needed money and pay raises,” Murphy said.
Murphy said he requested a wedge to be created, in order to be able to resume distributing a salary supplement this year. According to him, he worked with Terry Braud Jr., vice president of finance and administration and university chief financial officer, to set aside the amount necessary to fund the salary supplement.

“The reason I put the wedge in this year is because I want to put this supplement as a budget item,” Murphy said. “I still don’t know if we will be able to do that, but we understand its necessity.”

Despite Louisiana’s recurring budget crisis and increased cuts to higher education, Nicholls will also address the problems of salary inversion and compression created from freezing the salaries of existing faculty for years and paying new faculty recruits significantly higher salaries than their tenured peers.

“If I could, I would give everybody a salary increase, have merit pays or at least cost of living increases, but in this state, we are not stable enough to do that,” Murphy said.

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