COMMITTEE PROTECTS THE 1%, CONDONES CSU’S BAD BEHAVIOR

Committee approves bill to codify double digit pay hikes for six-figure execs, kills Yee’s bill to freeze administrative pay

SACRAMENTO – Today, the Senate Education Committee approved legislation (SB 952-Alquist) to allow double digit pay hikes for California State University executives making $300,000 to $600,000, while killing a bill (SB 967-Yee) that would have prohibited pay hikes for top administrators during bad budget years or within two years of a student fee increase.

“It is another sad day for our students,” said Yee. “Unfortunately, the Education Committee has sent the completely wrong message. Rather than stand up for students and faculty, they protected the 1% and condoned CSU’s bad behavior. CSU students and California taxpayers deserve better than the status quo.”

Despite overwhelming bipartisan support from student groups, university faculty, labor unions and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, as well as four votes from both Democrats and Republicans, the bill failed to receive the six votes needed for passage after three Democrats voted against it.

Yesterday, the CSU Board of Trustees approved 10 percent pay hikes for two of their six-figure executives – $324,500 plus housing and a $12,000 per year car allowance for the next CSU Fullerton President and $303,660 plus $60,000 per year housing and $12,000 per year car allowance for the new CSU East Bay President.

At yesterday’s meeting, CSU Trustee Roberta Achtenberg said, “I’m just sorry we can’t pay them more.”

“Unfortunately, SB 952 codifies this abhorrent practice of catering to university elites,” said Yee. “Rather than approving SB 967 and putting a stop to these exorbitant pay hikes, the Committee instead has ensured in perpetuity that students suffer and executives get rich.”

In 2009, Yee passed a nearly identical bill to SB 967 to stop executive pay hikes – SB 86 – but the bill was vetoed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This past year, the Trustees raised fall tuition twice – by 9.6 percent and then again by 12 more percent.

“Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time before CSU gives yet another executive pay hike and another scandal plagues our great university,” said Yee. “I will not give up this fight for our students, faculty, and California taxpayers.”

SB 967 could be reconsidered as early as next Wednesday.

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Contact: Adam J. Keigwin,
(916) 651-4008