So yeah, some of this post in rambling and a bit whinny, but believe me a very, very thankful I have a good job right now. However, I want to pass on some of the information that numbed me as a bit of a warning for my mates--snoop around on those faculty union sites at the schools where you interview as you might be amazed about what you can learn about salaries which can come in handy for negotiations. Now let the rambling begin.
I returned to my office today (as you know I have been away for a while) and struck up a conversation with one my colleagues that began with an insightful discourse on micro-brews (got to love them), which quickly digressed to unions, faculties, departments, wages, etc. Of these, ramblings the one that has stuck in my craw was our joint outrage over salaries and the ridiculous discrepancies among them within the units of my college/faculty. As A&H folks we are all used to the sciences, medical, business schools, and the like, making insane amounts more (for the many reasons we know), but I was slapped in the face almost quite literally upon learning that folks of my own rank (start date, tenure-rankings, etc.) make 7,000-10,000 dollars more than me to teach music, classical studies, English, and so on. I learned this bit of information from our faculty union which has a nifty little program that states what you should be making based on performance rankings, and you can just change departments to get the goods on their salaries. Although I expect English to make more than me, mainly because of the shear size of the departments and volume of revenues from students, I was taken aback by the vast amount of dollar seperation; a few grand, o.k. but 10,000 come on. Even though I stand a chance of reaping some of the benefits of such discrepancies if the wife can land a tenure-track job here, still. Moreover, what is truly f'ed up is that my colleague, who just made tenure makes considerably less (more than the numbers above) than her equals in other departments because a cliche in the salary-leveling that occurred several years ago. To keep up with affirmative action and women's equality, the university tried to bring the female profs to the pay of their male colleagues--the men were making 10s of thousands more per year. Instead of leveling across the university, the salaries were balanced within the departments, well my department at the said time, basically had no senior men, therefore there was no real imbalance so the women only recieved a modest pay increase (same for the men). Although, one can say my department was more progressive, these same women (and some now senior men) are still making, as I understand it much, much less than other tenured folks.
Well to even make things more crazy, which led to our discussion of money in the first place, there is a push to bring the university's pay scale to an equivalent amount to other comparable institutions in our region--an assistant prof at a comparable school makes 30,000 more than a prof at my institution and my university ranks higher than all but 2 of them.
The one element of good news, is that I make a few grand more than what our union's program says I should make.