AR Compensation Explainer

AR salary scales will increase four times over the next three years:

  • AR salary scales will increase 4-7% on January 1, 2020 and again six months later on July 1, 2020 by 3-5%. Additional increases will follow on July 1, 2021 and July 1, 2022.
  • Over the life of the agreement, AR salary rates will increase 14%-24% depending on title, rank, and step. For specifics, see these tables: rates, percentage increase.

AR salary scales increases are base-building:

  • Like compound interest, these increases will permanently increase the salary scale as each successive increase builds upon the previous one.
  • All AR salaries will exceed the postponed July 2019 increase (had it gone into effect) during the life of the contract, with most exceeding by mid-late 2020 and the remaining by July 2021.
  • All AR salaries will also exceed a 3% annual increase from 2019-2022.

The increases in our contract are guaranteed:

  • Prior to our union, the University had sole discretion over the amount and timing of all increases.
  • In the past 10 years, AR salary scales increased by an average of only 1.7% per year, and in some years there were no increases at all. Over our 3-year contract, the average increase is 18%, or 6% per year.

AR salary scale increases come in two forms: 1) general range adjustments that every AR will receive, and 2) equity increases and smoothing increases that 2/3rds of ARs will receive:

  • General range increases for Project Scientists, Specialists, and CPPs will be 4% on January 1, 2020, and 3% on July 1, 2020, July 1, 2021 and July 1, 2022.
  • General range increases for Professional Researchers will be 4.5% on January 1, 2020, and 3% on July 1, 2020, July 1, 2021 and July 1, 2022.
  • Certain titles and ranks will also get equity increases that address specific problems in the current salary scales, some Postdocs taking a pay cut when transitioning to AR positions.
  • Smoothing increases will make the pay steps more consistent within titles and ranks.
  • CPPs will transition to a new scale at an equal or higher pay level; the new scale will start ~$10k higher.

Merit increases (advancing a step) will be more consistent and fair, and will provide additional salary increases to ARs:

  • All ARs must receive merit reviews on time (every 1 – 3 years depending on title and rank), and UC must notify ARs in advance of all deadlines and give a final decision and explanation.
  • Approved promotions and merit increases will be effective on July 1 in the year of review.
  • Between salary scale increases and merit increases, the typical AR will receive a wage increase of 24% over the 3-year contract duration.

ARs will also have longer guaranteed appointments:

  • Initial appointments must be for a minimum of 1 year.
  • After first merit review, reappointments must be equal to length of time in a pay step (2 – 3 years at a minimum), providing increased job security and longer visas.

AR retirement contribution rates will be locked in and cannot be increased over the life of the contract:

  • At their next meeting in November, the UC Board of Regents will consider proposals to increase the amount that UC employees contribute to the UC retirement system, which is effectively a pay cut.
  • Our contract would prevent UC from applying this increase to ARs without further bargaining.