One prof writes:
I find it interesting that many of the colleges budgeted 3% for salary increases this year. If they expected to pay 3%, how can they say that anything less is UNAFFORDABLE? Are they routinely budgeting things that they cannot afford?
It’s a fair point — obviously the colleges would argue that they could afford 3% for 2009-10, but hadn’t yet budgeted for the years 2010-3, and that’s where they would have had to cut back. What this means is that–as if professors’ salaries were a mortgage–the college management is trying to take advantage of an economic downturn to “lock them in at a low rate” (and bypass collective bargaining, to boot). It’s no coincidence that they proposed a four-year contract, not a two-year one. Still, their arguments might sound a bit more reasonable if they were to similiarly announce only 1.75-2% increases in their administrative positions until 2013.