NFA Member Update on Proposed Compensation and Benefits for NSHE Faculty and Professional Staff
The NFA has persistently advocated for competitive compensation and benefits for NSHE professionals and all state employees during this and past legislative sessions. With very strong revenues in the state budget currently and forecast, and facing an unprecedented state employee retention and hiring crisis, the Governor’s executive budget made a good start with cost-of-living adjustments and retention bonuses. Now the leadership of the Assembly and Senate has doubled up with a historic package of enhancements to mitigate the retention and hiring crisis throughout the state. The Nevada Faculty Alliance is grateful for these proposed and historic improvements, which still require approval of the Legislature and Governor. Details below.
- The NFA greatly appreciates the historic proposed compensation and benefits for state employees including NSHE professionals.
- Increasing compensation and benefits to more competitive levels is essential for attracting and retaining high-quality faculty and professional staff for NSHE, and to mitigate the high vacancy rates of Classified staff across state government including NSHE.
- We strongly urge the Legislature and Governor to fully fund the COLAs and other compensation and benefits enhancements for NSHE professionals. Bridge funding for non-state-funded programs should be provided to cover the compensation increases until other funding sources can be secured.
Proposed compensation and benefits for NSHE administrative and academic faculty (our preliminary understanding is based on the work session discussion on March 30 and is subject to change; changes for Classified staff depend on collective bargaining unit agreements and are not detailed here):
1. Cost-of-living adjustments(additions to base salaries)
- 2% on April 1, 2023 (SB440)
- Additional 10% on July 1, 2023
- Additional 4% on July 1, 2024
The resulting cumulative COLA for the biennium is 16.7%.
2. One-time retention bonuses (for full-time NSHE faculty up to a maximum salary, probably $100K to $120K)
- $500 for employees as of 3/31/2023 (AB268, signed by Governor)
- $500 for employees as of 6/15/2023 (AB268)
- $250 per quarter for FY2024 and FY2025 ($1000 per year
. Longevity Payments (new for NSHE professional employees)
- Starting at 8 years of service, $150/year
- Additional $50/year for 9 to 14 years of service
- Additional $100/year for 15 to 25 years of service
- Additional $150/year for 26 to 30 years of service
Maximum is $2350/year for 30 or more years of service
4. PEBP Benefits for FY2024
5. Retirement Contributions
- Same plan design and employee premiums as FY2023
- Additional $300 into an HSA or HRA account on 7/1/2023 for all employees on PEPB, from excess reserves accumulated in FY2022.
- Additional amounts into HSA or HRA accounts on 7/1/2023 and 7/1/2024 based on dependent tiers: $300 for employee only, $400 for employee plus spouse, $400 for employee plus children, $500 for employee plus family. These amounts would be funded from the state general fund.
- By PEBP Board action, the dental annual maximum is being increased from $1500 to $2000.
- Long-term disability insurance apparently would not be restored. NFA continues to advocate for the essential safety net of LTD Insurance for state employees, who are not eligible for Social Security Disability.
- For faculty on the NSHE Retirement Plan Alternative, an increase of the mandatory employee contribution from 15.5% to 17.5% starting on 7/1/2023 (offsetting the 10% COLA on 7/1/2023 for take-home pay by minus 2%) and an increase in the employer contribution into the RPA 401a retirement account from 15.5% to 17.5%.
- For faculty in PERS in the Employee/Employer Pay Plan, the employee contribution will be reduced from 15.5% in FY2023 to about 10.0% on 7/1/2023 (increasing take-home pay by an additional 5.5% with no change to PERS retirement benefits). The employer contribution from the State to PERS will increase from 15.5% in FY2023 to about 25.0% on 7/1/2023. (updated 4/15/2023)
Funding and the NSHE budget
The funding of the compensation and benefits package for NSHE is not entirely clear from the public discussion at the work session on 3/30/2023 because the NSHE funding was not broken out. Generally, the Legislature proposes to fund this package for the state General Fund portion of the NSHE budgets (i.e., with the expectation that student fees and tuition for instructional budgets and other fees for self-funded programs should cover the rest). The difficulty for the various institutions to fund the compensation increases for non-state-funded personnel and programs varies, especially for the increases that go into effect immediately near the end of FY 2023 and at the beginning of FY 2024. We urge the Legislature to consider bridge funding for non-state-funded programs with one-time funds.