2023 Salary Adjustment FAQ

Updated October 24

The provost has announced salary adjustments for staff following the removal of the provincial 1% cap on salary increases that limited our 2021–2024 salary settlement. The adjustment includes additional base salary increases and a lump-sum payment. You can review all the details on the Provost Office Staff Salary Adjustment webpage, and our statement about the adjustment here.

The Provost Office has compiled answers to common questions about the process—please be sure to read that as well. Here are our own answers to questions we've received from members, supplemented with information from Human Resources. We will continue to update this page as we get more information from the University.

When will we receive the lump sum and salary increase?

Both will be paid with your regular paycheque on October 27. If you are on leave at the time, you will get the pay adjustment upon your return to work.

Are we getting back pay from May 1, 2023?

Yes. All eligible employees will receive a revised base salary effective May 1, 2023, which will be paid out on October 27.

Will the lump sum be taxed?

It has to be taxed, as the University is obligated by law to report and deduct taxes from monetary compensation and other forms of compensation considered taxable by the CRA.

What exactly is the lump sum “making up” for?

The lump sum essentially partially accounts for the fact that our salaries were lower than they should have been between May 1, 2021, and May 1, 2023. The increase as of May 1, 2023, on the other hand, is to bring them closer to where they should have been by now.

Why is the lump sum the same for all staff members? It would be more equitable if the lump sum amount was determined using a calculation based on current salary and USG level.

There are two reasons for this: keeping our adjustment process in line with FAUW's and ensuring that even those at the lower end of the salary spectrum received a meaningful lump sum. Think of it like a progressive tax, recognizing that those with lower salaries could use more of a boost right now.

UPDATE OCT 24 – HR adds: "The range of pay within the Staff employee group is significant and if a lump sum had been allocated as a percentage of earnings, it could have been viewed as benefiting higher earners disproportionately."

Why were the dates of May 1, 2021, and May 1, 2022, chosen?

These were the salary increase dates that took place during the term of our current salary agreement.

I was on LTD for part of the time between 2021 and 2023. How will this affect what I receive for the salary adjustment?

From HR: “LTD status does not impact your eligibility for this pay adjustment. As you have already returned to full time duties you will be eligible for your pay adjustment (revised salary and lump sum payment), subject to applicable deductions.”

What happens if I was on maternity leave between 2021 and 2023?

From HR: “Maternity/parental leave status does not impact your eligibility for this pay adjustment. You will be eligible for your pay adjustment (revised salary and lump sum payment), subject to applicable deductions, at the time of your return to work when your pay cycle resumes in the normal course. Your lump sum payment will be prorated based on your FTE upon return to work.”

Why the strict May 1 cut-off dates instead of, for example, pro-rated increases for people who worked part of the year leading up to May 1, 2021, or May 1, 2022?

As in the FAUW agreement, the adjustments were specifically tied to the existing May 1 salary increase process. There’s no perfect way to do this, and it was clear to us throughout discussions that it was going to be a relatively simple, blanket adjustment without significant individual customization.

UPDATE OCT 24 – HR adds: "The compensation program for Staff employees does not include assessments and salary adjustments outside of the annual cycle."

Shouldn’t the USG grid increase alongside this salary increase?

Members are right in pointing out that a large increase to salaries without corresponding movement in the salary grid will be “clawed back” to some extent over the next few years. This is because the salary increase will move you closer to your job value/target salary, at which point merit increases will slow down.

The time for us to address this is in the next compensation agreement effective May 1, 2024, and we will be pushing for a significant and fair increase to the salary grid at that time, as we are seeing in new agreements at other universities right now.

UPDATE OCT 24 – Here’s what HR told us about that:

"The adjustments associated with this plan are not an indication of what the May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2024 agreement would have included if the Bill 124 three year moderation period had not been a factor. This fall, the PACSC will be discussing the scale adjustments to include in the upcoming salary agreement for the period commencing May 1, 2024 since the current plan expires April 30, 2024. Factors that will be considered by PACSC and the Provost include the current scales relative to the market and the University’s compensation philosophy, economic outlook, cost of labour, and affordability. PACSC will deliver a recommendation for a future salary agreement to the Provost for feedback or approval; once accepted by the Provost, it will then be presented to the Board of Governors for review and approval."

New: Why aren’t contract employees getting the same compensation adjustments?

From HR: "The University appreciates the contributions of all employees, regardless of the nature of funding associated with the employment arrangements. The Staff Salary Increase process applies to employees in positions with regular and ongoing funding only and provides these employees with an opportunity for pay progression on an annual basis in accordance with their target salary (based on an annual assessment of their performance) as well as pay position within the pay range for their position. On the other hand, those who are on contract have an opportunity for pay progression in a timeline that aligns with their term of employment. It is correct that the Bill 124 restraint limited the increases available at the time of contract renewals or extensions; however, there will be an opportunity at the next renewal or extension point to address salary concerns within the funding available."