The University of Maine System handed out a total of $7 million in individual salary increases in the last seven years, during a period of budget cuts when many workers went without regular raises, according to systemwide data released today.

System Chancellor James Page, who started his job last month, halted additional discretionary raises and is reviewing compensation policies in the wake of a March 22 Portland Press Herald report that uncovered the impact of individual increases at the University of Southern Maine.

Most of the raises, ranging from 5 percent to 63 percent, were given for a variety of reasons, including additional duties and pay equity, under the Salaried Employee Compensation and Classification Program started in 2005. System officials included top management positions in the totals, with raises as high as 101 percent, to provide a more complete picture of individual salary increases given from fiscal 2006 through fiscal 2012.

While USM gave a total of $2.34 million in individual raises from fiscal 2006 through fiscal 2012, the University of Maine at Orono granted $2.74 million; University of Maine at Augusta, $424,161; University of Maine at Farmington, $375,569; University of Maine at Presque Isle, $147,291; University of Maine at Fort Kent, $140,787; University of Maine at Machias, $66,290; and system administration, $757,041.

Over seven years, the system gave 1,022 raises to certain people. Some people received several raises during that period.

According to the data, a total of 809 employees got raises of 5 percent or more during that period.

One USM employee, Student Life Director Jason Saucier, got five raises in seven years. Reasons are listed as three job reclassifications, one new appointment and one adjustment. His salary increased from $24,815, when he was a resident director, to its current level of $58,000.

Numerous employees got three or four raises of at least 5 percent during that same time period.

The system gave $827,395 in individual raises during the current fiscal year, which started July 1, with the following totals at each campus: USM, $275,893; UMaine, $262,073; UMA, $69,930; UMF, $56,124; UMFK, $27,020; UMM, 9,500; UMPI, $27,931; and system administration, $98,925.

The largest total increases came in fiscal 2006, 2007 and 2011, when the system granted individual raises that added up to $1.2 million, $1.3 million and $1 million, respectively.

Last Wednesday, USM President Selma Botman announced that she rescinded large, discretionary salary increases granted last summer to her chief of staff and executive director of public affairs.

USM is wrestling with continued declining enrollment and faces a $5.1 million budget cut in the coming year that will likely bring staff reductions. More than 100 positions at USM have been eliminated in recent years, which is why some salaries were increased to reflect increased duties or promotions.

Botman gave raises last summer to Tim Stevens, her chief of staff, increasing his salary $16,500 (18 percent), from $89,500 to $106,000; and to Bob Caswell, the university’s public affairs director, whose salary increased $18,212 (22 percent), from $87,788 to $106,000. They were two of 44 USM employees who got discretionary raises in the fiscal year that started July 1.

The system totals released today exclude Stevens’ and Caswell’s increases, which Botman said she rescinded because they generated the greatest public concern.

CORRECTION: This story was changed April 4 to reflect that system raises given during fiscal 2006-12 ranged from 5 percent to 101 percent. Incorrect data was provided to the newspaper.

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