Memo from the Provost to Business Managers
Date: April 4, 2011
Subject: Memo on Summer and Academic Year Salary Recovery from Grants
In August 2010, I sent a memorandum to all Principal Investigators outlining procedures for academic year (AY) salary recovery from grants. This memorandum generated much discussion across campus, and the MSP, in response to the concerns of a number of faculty members, filed a formal grievance concerning the procedures outlined in my August memorandum. The Administration and the MSP have been in discussions since that time, and I am pleased to report that we have reached an agreement. The following Settlement Agreement supersedes my August 2010 memorandum on AY salary recovery from grants:
Summer and Academic Year Salary Recovery from Grants
This Agreement is made and entered into by and between the Trustees of the University of Massachusetts Amherst ("University") and the Massachusetts Society of Professors/Faculty Staff Union/MTA/NEA .("Union")
In consideration of the mutual promises and covenants herein set forth, the parties hereby agree as follows:
- The University shall make academic year (AY) salary recovery from grants entirely voluntary, at the discretion of each investigator.
- The University and the Union agree that summer salary paid directly from federal and state grants shall be capped at 2.5 months during a three-month period in the summer, in order to resolve compliance issues. That is, salary from federal and state grants should not exceed 83.3% effort in any time period during the summer. In the exceptional case in which a federal project requires and the Principal Investigator can certify full three months of 100% summer effort, a waiver can be granted by the Provost.
- The three-month summer period in item 2 can begin to be taken at any time between the current graduation date and prior to the beginning of the next academic year on September 1. Note that faculty who are paid 2.5 months from federal or state grant funds plus an additional 0.5 month in 4a have no time remaining for vacation during the summer.
When Principal Investigators choose to recover AY salary and associated fringe benefits from grants (which cannot exceed their AY effort on the corresponding grant-funded projects), the University and the Union agree that:
- For the 1st month of AY salary recovery, or any portion thereof, up to ½ month of the Investigator's summer salary shall be paid from unrestricted funds with the other ½ month of salary going to the Investigator's school or college. This salary is for summer effort which may be unrelated to the federal and state grants and is in addition to any summer salary, up to 2.5 months, paid directly from such federal and state grants.
- For the 2nd and 3rd months, or any portion thereof, of AY salary recovery, ½ shall be paid from unrestricted funds to the Investigator as a (non-base) bonus, with the other ½ going to the Investigator's school or college (allowing a maximum bonus during any fiscal year of 11% of the base salary).
- As an alternative to using the funds for summer salary in 4a or bonus in 4b, the Investigator may place these funds into a Research Support Account (RSA).
- To comply with Federal tax regulations, the election in 4c,not to receive a bonus, is irrevocable and must occur prior to when the AY effort is charged to a grant. That is, the decision to take a bonus must be made at the time the option is first available. As a result, Investigators are not permitted to retroactively charge grants for effort in order to receive bonus payments.
This agreement will not affect previous arrangements regarding distribution of other funds.
- For option 4c, an RSA will be established for each investigator at the time the AY salary is first recovered and a bonus is declined. RSA funds can be spent on any research-related activity whose costs are allowed on RTF accounts. The research-related activity shall be described by the Investigator when the expenditure is made.
- The maximum RSA balance is three months of the institutional base salary, after which the recovered funds shall be paid as in 4a. That is, the bonus payment will be made automatically.
- For AY salary recovery beyond three months in any academic year, individual arrangements would have to be approved by the Investigator's Head or Chair, Dean, the VCRE and the Provost.
- This policy does not pertain to time periods when the PI is employed by the University less than full-time. For example, faculty on a full-year sabbatical at ½ salary may earn the remainder of their salary up to 100% by charging 50% effort on federal and state grants. The amount direct charged to grants in this example would not be eligible for bonus payments.
- To ensure compliance with federal regulations, no summer salary or bonuses will be paid unless the PI has up-to-date training and certification of effort.
- Nothing in this Agreement restricts the Principal Investigator's ability to use their RTF or RSA funds for salary.
- This Agreement shall be implemented effect ive April 7, 2011. The University shall notify all Principal Investigators of the opportunity to re-budget any grant submitted on or after August 1, 2010.
- In consideration of the aforementioned the Union shall withdraw its grievance and complaint of prohibited practice upon execution of this Agreement.