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Penn State employee pay raises stalled by PA budget impasse

Old Main, Penn State University Park campus
Penn State's administrative building Old Main on the University Park campus, in State College, Pennsylvania.

The Penn State board of trustees finance committee approved budgets for this fiscal year and next, including money for employee pay increases this year, but the university says those raises are on hold until the state approves its budgets and releases the university's funding.

The action by the Penn State trustees committee also included setting tuition for this academic year and next. Tuition increases range from 0% to 4%, depending on the campus and whether a student is from Pennsylvania. (One exception is out-of-state medical students.)

Senior Vice President for Finance Sara Thorndike said this year’s budget includes money for a 3% pay raise for employees that’s merit-based, along with what the university is calling compensation modernization.

“Keeping competitive salaries is extremely important to us and a priority, which is why we’ve put funding for the compensation modernization initiative into the budget. It’s going to take several years to get to where we need to get to and want to get to," Thordike said. "But that is a priority of ours as well."

Those pay raises are on hold for now. The state is in the midst of a budget impasse, and Penn State is one of the programs that is not getting its state funding.

Republican chairman of the state House Appropriations Committee Seth Grove said Thursday that movement on the budget likely will not happen until October — at the earliest.

Penn State’s full board is scheduled to meet and vote on its budgets Friday.

Anne Danahy has been a reporter at WPSU since fall 2017. Before crossing over to radio, she was a reporter at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, and she worked in communications at Penn State. She is married with cats.