I read your article, “UMaine system handed out $7M in raises,” Kennebec Journal, April 3. Parts of it caught my attention.

First, the headline: “Handed out” implies “something for nothing.” But much of the article describes pay increases to employees who were promoted to different positions and not, therefore, simply given raises. This can’t be called a “handout.” And I am not alarmed by this “news.”

Is it not common for an employee who moves up to a different job to be given a salary commensurate with the new position?

(And never mind that the pay in the new university positions — at UMA, anyway — is probably less than the pay for the same type of positions at comparable universities.)

The article has an insert listing salary raises at UMA. The insert details raises at UMA to three employees promoted to new positions as noted above. The insert goes on to describe raises given to other employees over a seven-year period: “There were also a dozen other pay increases at UMA … ranging from 5 percent to 16 percent, and totaling about $68,000.”

Thus, according to your report, the 12 employees over the period received annual raises averaging just more than $800. Another yawn.

Much of rest of the article is more of the same: Gross figures given without details, conflated items and no apples-to-apples comparisons.

Other than these flaws …

Powers McGuire


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