The Difference Made by Capping the Max: Guest Post by Patrick Norton, Vice President for Finance and Treasurer

As VP for Administration Tim Spears has mentioned on a few occasions, much work needs to be done between now and July 1, 2012 to ensure: (1) that all staff are in their correct band and level and (2) that all the midpoints (or targets) are calculated correctly. We need time to get this work done, and patience is required.

Some staff colleagues have asked whether enforcing maximum salaries will actually make a difference in the additional amount available to the pool for increases for all staff. I have reviewed the data, and the answer is yes.

If, for the sake of this planning exercise, we assume that the number of staff members who are currently at the max (118) is reduced by 50% as a result of re-pricing jobs and expanding some of the salary ranges, we would still be able to set aside a significant amount of money by enforcing maximum salaries. Below I have itemized the additional resources as a percentage of the overall increase pool, and I have extended this list over the next five years–beginning in 2013, the first fiscal year of the implementation of the new increase process.

  • 2013: 0.00% (obviously, no additional money will be available as the amount of the single sum payment to those over the maximum will equal the money saved as a result of enforcing salary maximums)
  • 2014: 0.23%, or $115,000
  • 2015: 0.45%, or $230,000
  • 2016: 0.67%, or $350,000
  • 2017: 0.88%, or $475,000

Now this is simply a model–the actual proof will be seen after we complete our review of the band and levels, as well as the midpoints (or targets)–but I expect the results to be pretty similar to the percentages and amounts listed above. Significantly, these additional resources would be used to augment the pool for annual salary increases.

One thought on “The Difference Made by Capping the Max: Guest Post by Patrick Norton, Vice President for Finance and Treasurer

  1. Anonymous

    As an employee that has been at Middlebury College for over 30 years, I am dismayed at the negative and disparaging remarks being made against other employees who have worked hard all their lives for Middlebury College. You can tell just by the remarks and the tone whether the message is from someone who has been here for a few or several years or from those that identify themselves as being here longer. The bottom line is that all of us work here; all of us have started out with lower pay — I started at $9,000; and all of us need to live on our salaries. Any person who receives a raise each year will sooner or later reach midpoint and maximum; some faster than others to be sure due to extra merit, etc. I’ve lived through poverty and pulled myself up with hard work and dedication to my job. Is my reward for spending 30+ years here a kick in the rear and be booted out the door? Because of my salary, am I to be shown through this deed of capping my salary that I am worthless? I’m in complete agreement with the theory and practice of bringing up the salaries of those that are very low. I’ve even willing to sacrifice and receive smaller raises to help others, but I’m not willing to be frozen and treated as some monster because I’ve finally reached a decent salary. This was not of my making, but of the dear institution of which we work for not making salaries better before this. So don’t take it out on those who now are near or at maximum. We are not the blame. At the same time, we should not be singled out and made to pay the price for this by receiving frozen salaries which will be very long reaching and will affect the rest of our lives. Higher salaries mean higher taxes so our spending ability is not as great as some seem to think. We still have to cope with the higher cost of gas, food, insurance, etc. One of those increased taxes is social security. However, if salaries are frozen, then social security benefits are now frozen as well. It won’t make a difference whether I retire at 62 or 65 or 68, I will not have the ability to increase the amount that I can receive. I don’t feel any policy should be so detrimental to such a small group of people. I’m willing to take smaller salary increase just like the faculty. The smaller increase should be added to the base salary and not lump sum. This allows for the continuance of higher taxes being taken out and receiving fairer social security benefits at the time of retirement, and bringing up the salaries of those below midpoint. It would be a win-win situation for everyone and not single out a particular group.

    A lot has been said about staff versus faculty. Where do the administrators of the College fall? Are they treated like the staff or like the faculty?


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