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President Smart: Compensation for Most Employees to Remain the Same

Missouri State University
MSU President Clif Smart/Credit MSU

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/president-smart-compensation-most-employees-remain-same_52148.mp3

Missouri State University President Clif Smart says despite a two percent mid-year salary increase for qualified full-time employees, the raise will essentially be negated by Congress’ failure to extend a reduction in the Social Security payroll tax.

In an email to faculty and staff Tuesday, the President says instead of increasing the salaries for the vast majority of employees, the mid-year raise simply protects those employees from losing income.

For the past two years, there had been a temporary two percent decrease in the payroll tax. That reduction was not continued in the agreement reached by Congress on January 1 to avoid the fiscal cliff.

“I cannot fully express how disappointed I am in this development. As you know, we worked very hard to fund the 2 percent mid-year raise. Improving compensation for faculty and staff is and remains my top priority,” Smart said.

Increasing compensation for University employees was one of three priorities approved by the Board of Governors at its October meeting, due in part to a budget surplus from a lower than expected withholding of state appropriations, strong enrollment and new health plan savings.

President Smart Tuesday added that University officials were able to avoid an increase in the health care plan, so “all things considered, the compensation for most of our employees will remain the same – status quo.”

The return of the increased Social Security payroll tax will appear on citizen’s first checks of 2013. For MSU staff, the effect of the pay raise will appear on January checks, while faculty will see the change in February.  

In 2012, that two percentage-point cut in the payroll tax was worth about $1,000 to a worker making $50,000 a year.