Concern

Hi!  My constituents are continually concerned about the differences in inflation vs. WSU cost of living adjustment (COLA) increases.  I know we are subject to what the legislature allocates, but WSU administration also obviously has a large amount (50% ?) of control over this.  To show historical differences, I used COLA increases from my own salary history and compared that with the consumer price index (CPI) from the US bureau of labor statistics data (https://www.bls.gov/cpi/).  For reference, I have been with WSU for 16 years, have been promoted on time, and my annual review averages about 4.1.  The two graphs listed show the continued departure of WSU COLA increases with the CPI.

Another way to look at it is to compare the buying power of $100 worth of goods and services 16 years ago up until today (Figure 2).  Someone promoted to full professor 16 years ago and given typical COLA increases would only be able to buy 86% of the goods and services today that they would have been able to buy 16 years ago.

 

Troy Peters, P.E., Ph.D.
Professor and Extension Irrigation Engineer

Response

We recognize this is a persistent concern and have discussed salary issues with university leadership on multiple occasions. They are aware and understand the importance of the issue. The most optimistic news at this point is the WSU Insider Article: WSU Preparing 2023–2025 State Budget Requests. ~09.21.22

Christine Horne
Faculty Senate Chair

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