Schaumburg, Ill. -- In light of the harsh economic climate and a request before the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) House of Delegates this month to raise member dues, the AVMA Executive Board voted in November to freeze staff salaries in 2010.
"Given the current economic situation, the board appropriately felt they needed to withhold those funds to reduce or eliminate a potential budget deficit in 2010," says AVMA Chief Executive Officer Ron DeHaven.
The freeze will result in an estimated $300,000 in savings for the year, according to AVMA, and affects about 130 employees. In April 2009, the board had approved a roughly 3 percent salary increase for AVMA staff, but reconsidered that increase at its November meeting. AVMA carried a $7 million deficit in 2008 and is anticipating a smaller deficit for the close of 2009 but made the decision to avoid being "fiscally irresponsible."
The pay freeze is the first time the executive board has declined a pay increase in more than a decade, says AMVA.