FacFAQs: Will the snap-back be included in my “high three”?

Pearla has served many years as 9-month faculty at Lili’uokalani Community College, and is looking forward to her retirement in Spring 2015! After much congratulations and many joyful tears from colleagues, she started thinking about the financial repercussions of the snap-back. She knows that ERS often doesn’t include retroactive payments so as not to inflate one’s AFC. Will the snap-back be included in her “high three”?


Although Pearla’s “retirement estimate” does not reflect it, and it is not common practice from ERS, the snap-back payments are the exception that proves the rule! Because the lump sum falls within Pearla’s “high three,” she can rest easy that the lump sum will definitely be included in the ERS’s calculation of her actual AFC.


Ken Tanaka* works for DaBest Community College as an Assistant Professor. After skimming through “Salaries” section of the ratified Tentative Agreement slated to begin on July 1, 2015, Ken is upset. Having been hired in 1994, Ken was only able to negotiate the minimum salary, and currently makes $60,000 a year. Now the new hire his department receives next year will be entitled to Ken’s current salary as a base rate of pay! With all the service Ken has put in, how is this equitable? Why didn’t the union negotiate a base salary increase instead of percentages?


After analyzing the financial and political conditions the University system faces, UHPA strategized that the only way to ensure across-the-board increases was to raise salaries by percent and increase minimum salaries by rank. Unlike the Department of Education, UH system salaries have never been predicated on years of service; the salary system has always been based on a meritocracy of ranks. Whereas actions to resolve compression issues can always be sought by the deserving individual, what this TA aimed to resolve was the more-difficult-to-achieve adjustment for the salary differential between 9- and 11-month appointments.
The good news is that Ken can take action to increase his pay! The new TA maintained the existing contractual provisions that allow for special salary adjustments based on merit, retention, and equity from the current contract’s section R-18, Memorandum of Understanding on the Procedures for Special Salary Adjustments and Bonus Payments. He can apply at any time for a special salary increase using supporting data from UHPA’s Salary Research.
* Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.