Over the past year, college administrators, union leaders and others in the Puget Sound area have been pushing for the idea of a “regional pay” adjustment to reflect cost of living in the greater Seattle area. To that end, legislative funding was secured to conduct this study on regional pay issues to inform legislators on that topic and begin a debate.
Key Numbers and Findings from the Study:
There are 2 parts: a deficit in salary for all WA state faculty and Regional pay differences
1. Deficit in salary for all WA state faculty: Washington State faculty are behind Peer States (CA, ID, OR, NV, MT) by 12.4% (page 17). SBCTC is proposing to the legislature a 12.4% increase paid over the next 4 years (3% per year) to catch up.
2. Regional Pay Differences--According to the study, Washington is the 10th most expensive state in the country (page 13). Seattle-King region is the most expensive region with a cost of living index (COLI) of 151.7. The state average is 123.5. The lowest COLI is South Central Washington (Yakima and Kittitas Counties) with 94 COLI.
Numbers from the study on regional pay:
$61,153 is the average faculty salary in WA (page 16). Seattle-King region average is $61,276 (page 41) Bellevue College has the highest at $65,989. Lake Washington Tech lowest at $53,077. SCC is 10th, NSC is 22nd, SSC is 25th (page 15). The study doesn't list the 3 colleges as SCD. However, current data shows SCD as 10th highest salary in the state.
$88,106 is the adjusted wage for faculty in Seattle-King County when adjusted to the national cost of living (page 32). It would cost the state $43.2 million a year to make this adjustment (page 31)
$98,325 is the adjusted wage for faculty in Seattle-King County when adjusted to the purchasing power of the South Central region COLI of 94 (This wage would give us equal purchasing power to those living and working as faculty in the South Central region) (page 32). It would cost the state $69.3 million to make this adjustment (page 31).
$78,413 is the adjusted wage for faculty in Seattle-King when adjusted to the national COL AND factoring in what the study calls "Hard To Hire" factors (page 41). In brief, some areas of the state it is hard to hire people for certain stated reason in the study (people might not want to live in rural areas). Hard To Hire factors work against Seattle King region because it is an attractive area to move to; therefore, it is not hard to hire people.