(2011-2012 HR#46) Compensation, Benefits and Policy Changes for Senior Research Associates and Research Associates (Limited Term)

Date: March 22, 2012
To: PDAD&C; Senior Research Associates and Research Associates (Limited Term); Professional & Managerial Staff
From: Angela Hildyard, Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity
Re: Compensation, Benefits and Policy Changes for Senior Research Associates and Research Associates (Limited Term)

I am very pleased to report that Business Board has approved a number of compensation increases and significant policy changes for Senior Research Associates (SRAs) and Research Associates (RAs) (Limited Term). The compensation increases cover the period from April 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014. The policy changes are, for the most part, effective April 1, 2012.

SRAs, RAs and Principal Investigators can review the complete details of these changes on our HR & Equity website:

  • Summary of compensation, benefits and pension changes for SRAs and RAs
  • Summary of policy changes for SRAs and RAs
  • Revised policies (effective April 1, 2012)

Compensation, Benefits & Pension Contribution Changes

In contrast to most of their U of T colleagues, while SRAs and RAs were eligible for merit increases in 2009, 2010 and 2011, they received no other increases to compensation, including no Across-The-Board (ATB) increases. We have, therefore, sought and received approval from Business Board for an ATB increase to these employees as soon as The Public Sector Compensation Restraint Act ends on March 31, 2012. A modest increase to the minimum of the RA salary range, along with a number of small benefit improvements have also been approved.

The Compensation Restraint legislation makes it very clear that there is to be no “catch-up” following the end of the two-year period of restraint. With this in mind, the approved ATBs are comparable to those negotiated with unionized employees and also take into account the need for employee pension contributions to increase over the next two years.

The University understands that the need for compensation restraint in the broader public sector may mean that the upcoming Provincial Budget will contain further compensation restraint measures. The University believes that the increases approved for SRAs and RAs are consistent with the restraint’s objectives and hopes that we will be able to implement these well-deserved increases, consistent with those being provided to other groups for this same period.

The Government has made it clear, through very specific metrics, that we are expected to increase employee pension contributions in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our pension plan and to provide the University with solvency relief. We will, therefore, implement the pension contribution increases even if there is further compensation restraint imposed by legislation.

I am sure you, like me, will pay very close attention to the Provincial Budget when it is released towards the end of this month. I sincerely hope that nothing in the budget will prevent us from implementing the full range of changes approved by the Business Board.

PDAD&C members are asked to forward this communication to Principal Investigators in their departments.