discussion following this post, I decided to open up a discussion on merit pay. Everybody is invited to express their opinions on whether everybody working at the same level for the same university or the same company should get paid the same irrespective of how much they produce and the quality of their work, or if merit pay should be accepted as a more fair practice.
My own preference is decidedly in favor of merit pay*. When I found out that my university has merit pay (which, simplified, means that every publication you produce can mean a salary raise**), I have to confess that my level of productivity tripled. I felt so happy about the merit pay not exclusively - and not even predominantly - because of a possible financial reward.What motivated me so much is the realization that through merit pay the administration of my school was demonstrating that research mattered. As I mentioned before, our funding has been frozen indefinitely. This means that I'm not likely to get my merit pay any time soon. However, the mere fact that my efforts are recognized as important by the university (and not just through empty verbiage but through a monetary reward, which is something that college administrators are always extremely unwilling to give out) matters a lot and makes me want to produce even more for the benefit of my fine educational institution.
I'd love to hear what my readers think on this subject. Are you against or on favor of merit pay and why?
* I hope it's understood that I am not talking here about the kind of quasi-merit pay instituted by the idiotic No Child Left Behind Act where teachers get merit pay for getting all the students to pass some stupid standardized multiple choice test. Everything about NCLB is beyond wrong and hardly needs to be discussed any further. It simply need to be scrapped today.
** It's obvious how different this kind of merit pay system is from the one promoted by NCLB. Making one's merit pay contingent on the effort (or lack thereof) made by other people is, of course, unfair and stupid. NCLB confuses the teacher's effort with that of the students, which is undoubtedly wrong. This is why I can't help reiterating that the entire No Child Left Behind insanity should be consigned to the garbage bin of history as of today.