In a vote to make University of California salaries more competitive, the Board of Regents recently passed legislation to bring faculty pay scales up to market level over the next four years beginning in October.

The new pay scale, voted upon by the Regents during their meeting last week at UC Davis, will increase wages for some faculty members by more than 10 percent. The general pay scale will increase for each level of faculty, although some individual raises will depend on how much a professor’s current payment differs from the market rate.

Instructors, the lowest level of teaching faculty, can now earn as much as $53,200 a year, up from $48,200, a 10.37 percent raise, while assistant professors may receive up to $80,300, which is a 10.75 percent increase from last year’s $72,500.

The highest-ranking associate professors will receive the largest potential increase of 10.97 percent, with salaries increasing from last year’s high of $87,500 to as much as $97,100. Full professors, the highest paid faculty on the UC pay scale, will receive the smallest percentage raise of 6.39 percent, from $154,800 to $164,700.

According to UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang, bringing faculty salaries more in line with market level is a significant move toward enhancing UC competitiveness for top professors.

“Our distinguished faculty members are the foundation of our University’s academic excellence,” Yang said. “Bringing faculty salaries closer to the market rate … supports our twin goals of excellence and diversity and helps us to best fulfill our mission of teaching, research and public service.”

Although the general pay scale has increased, not all faculty members will see such significant raises. Many professors already receive salaries above the existing pay scale due to various contract negotiations. Currently, 75 percent of UC faculty members are not paid according to the official pay scale. At the end of this four-year program, 61 percent of faculty will receive salaries according to scale.

A brief prepared by the UC Office of the President for finance and compensation committee members stated the new plan will cost $52.7 million in the first year.

The UC Compact, an agreement between the UC and the state promising future funding, covers $45.2 million, while the remaining $7.5 million will come from other areas.

In order to pay for the subsequent three years, which may require $20 million per year, the brief noted the plan would rely mainly on state funding, as well as additional systemwide and campus money.

In a letter to UC faculty, UC President Robert Dynes stated the implementation of the plan in the next three years depends on the continuance of state funding at expected levels, but he said that even the first year of the plan takes a crucial step toward improving faculty salaries in the UC system.

“Necessarily the future three years depend on favorable University budgets,” Dynes said. “But the current salary increases are an important first step and we are heartened by the … support of the Regents for the overall program.”