During the March 24th Faculty Senate meeting, a constituent concern was raised about why WSU does not provide an option for distributing a 9-mo salary over 12 months? Apparently, this has never been an option at WSU, but faculty were expecting this to be available after the implementation of Workday. To learn more, I reached out to Matt Skinner, Senior Associate Vice President in Finance and Administration.
Matt shared that some faculty have expressed interest in this service in the past. In response, they held early exploratory discussions with consultants and other universities who identified a few ways to meet this need through a combination of Workday and manual processes. Each option likely comes with varying degrees of flexibility, complexity, impact on different employment groups, benefits, and administrative workload for departments, human resources and payroll. Consequently, each option needs to be explored and fully understood before a recommended approach can be vetted with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and other university leadership partners. Understanding the number of employees interested in this service would also be useful. Given other priorities, including tax withholding, the next mass pay increase, tuition payment plans for students, and improvements in grant reporting, it is likely that a 9-over-12 option will not be available in the near-term.
Matt and I discussed another idea that may be of interest to faculty who would prefer a 9-over-12 pay option.
Workday allows us to setup paycheck deposits into multiple accounts. In practice, this allows each person to personally setup a system whereby 25% of take-home pay is distributed into an account that they would use for the summer. One advantage with this option is that the faculty member can accrue interest on these funds, which is not possible if WSU is holding the money. In addition, 9-month faculty would also be able to tap reserves in an emergency that would not be possible if WSU was holding the money. This simplified approach would require significantly less administrative effort and it is ready and available today.
Matt has offered to develop a guidance document to help faculty setup this multi-account option. Senate Exec will work to ensure that this information is disseminated to faculty as soon as it is available.
Faculty Senate Chair
w/ attribution to Matt Skinner and his team