Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Defending UC's Clerical Workers: The Coalition of University Employees

By Soraya I. Sadeghpour

Coalition of University Employees (CUE) is a member-run union which, elected in November, 1997 by clerical employees throughout the UC system to represent them, is made up entirely of UC clerical employees. Their headquarters are in Berkeley, California, though there is a group or "local" at each UC campus. CUE's contract with UC gives them the same protection as most large unions; it requires UC to negotiate with unions regarding the fate of their represented employees during times of considerable change to the employees' work proposed by the University. This includes the recent Furlough/Salary Reduction Program, implemented for most UC employees beginning Sept. 1, which CUE did not agree to. The furlough issue is one of many friction points between the clerical workers and the UC administration during this time of strapped finances.

--Below is a summary of CUE's views regarding the recent furloughs across UC, the temporary layoffs that CUE members are now faced with, and the voluntary START Program (with which CUE feels many are being intimidated into signing up because of UC's alleged "direct dealing"). In add
ition, a section on CUE's bargaining efforts with the UC Office of the President illustrates its views that UC bargains unfairly with the union, while UC clerical workers face the possibility of their salaries, already far below the comparable market, sinking further downward.--

"Beginning Sept. 1, most UC employees will begin taking part in a one-year furlough program aimed at helping UC close an $813 million budget deficit...This approach of shared sacrifice means that every member of the University takes part in solving UC's budget problem."
- University of California, 8/28/09 on the Furlough Plan (UC Berkeley Human Resources website).

Linda Weinberger, a 30-year Langston Library employee at University of California, Irvine, is at work when her supervisor hands her a letter of 6 sentences signed by her employers that reads as follows: "I regret to inform you that your 100% position as [insert Position and Department here] is subject to temporary layoff effective [insert beginning and end date here]. This action is being taken in accordance with Article 13 of the Agreement between the University of California and CUE."

This last bit tends to confuse those who are not well-versed in this Agreement, as it refers to the action of physically notifying the employee, not the action of temporarily laying employees off. Specifically, Article 13, Section D, Subsection 1 states: "When the University selects particular members of the unit for layoff, it shall give individual notice to each employee of the effective date of the layoff and whether the layoff is temporary or indefinite."

As for the layoffs, CUE certainly does not agree they are even legal, since the union is still in a "status quo" bargaining period with UC on this issue; but the unclear wording of the letter certainly seems to imply CUE concedes to the layoffs. And Weinberger was one of Irvine's 1,300 CUE members to receive this news at the beginning of this month. She's been expecting it.

CUE held its monthly meeting, which always convenes on the first Thursday of every month, on Nov. 5 on the Fifth Floor of University Tower, in the central plaza across the street from UCI. "This is the first time we've had this many people in here!" Cynthia Norman, Vice President of the Irvine Local of CUE exclaimed upon seeing the variety of clerical workers sitting around the conference table, or standing and crowding up the doorway and the corners of the room.

These clerical workers, representing the libraries, the bookstore, the financial department of UCI and more, have to hear what the leaders of their union have to say about these temporary layoffs. It is an anxious time for many who will have to learn how to deal with a 4% cut, or more, to their paycheck for this fiscal year.

The meeting opens with myriad questions, all directed to Dianna Sahhar, the president of the Irvine Local. "Why does the notice say that the layoffs are in accordance with and agreement between UC and CUE?" asks one employee.

"Let me just say that we feel that it's direct dealings for Human Resources, your department or your supervisor to hand you this, and tell you that 'these are the days we're going to lay you off,'" explains Sahhar at the CUE meeting, "or even if you pick your dates, that's called direct dealing. They have to deal with the bargaining team, and we are at the table negotiating, so this is kind of like a side deal that they're doing. And it is illegal."

In fact, in an email she sent to all of the Irvine CUE members a couple of days earlier, she explained that CUE has already filed an Unfair Labor Practice document with the Public Employment Relations Board for review regarding this alleged "direct dealing" by UC, and that CUE members should send their layoff notices to the CUE office, so that the union can more effectively document this illegal action and subsequently "call department supervisors and ask them to stop this implementation."

This is the reason that one young bookstore employee hands a bulky envelope, full of copies of the 16 layoff notices from the bookstore, 16 proofs of service and a copy of Article 13 to Sahhar during the meeting. Completely halting the temporary layoffs, according to Sahhar, is "another battle," but at this point, CUE's bargaining representatives from each campus have been negotiating the effects of those layoffs since UC has not budged on its right to impose them, and CUE lawyers contend that if UC temporarily lays anyone off before CUE has finished bargaining the effects, the members will "most likely get [their] money back and have [their] accruals restored."

CUE has already succeeded in having many of the notices rescinded (UC takes them back) by accusations to supervisors of direct dealing, as CUE's contract with UC states that the union and the member should be noticed simultaneously, and the union claims it has not yet become informed in any direct manner besides from the members who have received them individually. "And they seemed to be premature, really, jumping the gun by doing this while we're still at the table," Sahhar says.

One employee's exasperation is heard from the back of the conference room: "Does anyone feel like this is just a lot of intimidation?" The entire room instantaneously confirms this feeling with a rush of head-noddings and indignant personal stories.

One bookstore employee explains that her department recommended taking her required eleven layoff days in two increments, one of 5 days, the other of 6. Another CUE member scoffs: "And, as it turns out, you wouldn't be eligible for unemployment!" Sahhar agrees: "They're saying they're doing it so it won't be such a burden on your paycheck, but in reality, it's so they don't have to pay unemployment." In fact, her email recommended that, if an employee decides to take all of their layoff days in one month, they contact the Employment Development Department on the first day of layoff to apply for unemployment benefits, which would be effective the following week.

More confusion ensues: One worker explains that her department is telling the employees that if they are laid off over a school holiday, they would not receive holiday pay. However, UC's Holiday Article No. 9, Section B4 states that "An eligible employee who is on approved leave without pay or temporary layoff, for a period of not more than 20 calendar days, including holidays, shall be eligible to receive pay for any holiday occurring during that time." All of the clerical workers' layoffs are "not more than 20 calendar days." Therefore, paid holidays are not part of the layoff days. CUE member Deborah Perkins received a layoff notice with dates beginning over this Thanksgiving break. A copy of the Holiday Article was not included with the layoff notices.

More indignation ensues: Norman cites a letter that she recently sent to California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, mentioning that "most of the CUE employees, when they get their cut, are going to get a $2 thousand cut after all the taxes. How are you going to pay your mortgage or your rent? And your gas and your phone and your food and your water? I put all of this in the email. I said, we're predominantly struggling women, and they're [UC is] losing $22 billion and still giving increases in salary off the backs of the lower-paid female employees?"

Indeed, all but one of the CUE employees participating in the meeting are women. "And predominantly," Dianna concurs, "women are lower-paid anyway. We're 25% below market already, and now, we're going to be 30% after these temporary layoffs." There is another wave of indignation in the room, as CUE members shake their heads and mutter; not one in this room feels the cheering prospect of a shared sacrifice.

START (Now!)
"As in the past, START is one way to help UC cope with budget cuts in an attempt to minimize the need for layoffs."
-Staff and Academic Reduction in Time Program description, UC Human Resources and Benefits site.

CUE bargainers have thus far succeeded in keeping their represented employees' full paycheck, yet many clerical employees have already voluntarily reduced their time and corresponding pay in exchange for a number of advantages through the Staff and Academic Reduction in Time Program (START). Those who join START are exempt from Furlough Plan participation "if their voluntary reduction is already equal to or exceeds the percent reduction for their respective pay band," states UC's Furlough Plan Guidlines.

"If you voluntarily reduce your salary with START it's almost like taking personal layoff," says one bookstore employee at the CUE meeting, who has recently received her temporary layoff notice. "But the issue for us was, our percentage with layoff was less than our minimum percentage with START. So you would have lost money if you did START, but you would have been keeping your retirement and vacation and sick [pay]. So you can decide which is worth it to you. Is that value in cash worth it, or is the retirement worth it?"

In fact, according to the most recent revisions of the START Program Guidelines from the UC Office of the President, an employee signs a contract with START in order to reduce their time "from a minimum reduction of 5 percent to a maximum reduction of 50 percent of full-time," which are made in increments of each pay period (monthly or bi-weekly). This warrants a certain advantage, though the minimum reduction is more than that of the temporary layoffs. An employee on START will accrue, month-by-month, vacation and sick leave credits (which become reduced by leave without pay, such as a temporary layoff), UC Retirement Plan service credit as well as UCRP retirement benefits

Sahhar is one of many CUE members who believe that "UC is trying to bully [CUE members], and a lot of people, into going on START, because of those accruals...Many people have gone on START because they're scared of their temporary layoffs, and that's another issue with us, because START is supposed to be voluntary. We're not supposed to sign it under duress of being laid off."

The fact that the employees have received their layoff notices so long before the actual dates that they take place (most don't begin until, at earliest, May 2010), also supports this theory; there remains much time for employees to decide to use START. Through this, not only would UC be collecting a high minimum of each employee's salary, but it would also mean that the employees are giving up their pay voluntarily, and UC would not need to bargain with the union on this issue.

However, Sahhar and CUE's lawyers hope to prove that many of these workers felt threatened by the layoffs and were encouraged by their departments to join START rather than signing it completely voluntarily, and thereby have UC reimburse those workers.

One such candidate is an employee who wishes to remain anonymous, and was the only employee in the CUE conference who had not received her temporary layoff notice. Though she seemed nervous throughout the meeting, and was a regular voice in the room when the topic rested on the START program, the reason that she had not received a notice remained a mystery to the rest of the group, until she mentioned her signing of the START contract as a off-hand remark. "One person has recently been placed in this personnel position [in my department]," she explained, in response to sympathetic disappointment from many for her decision, "and she was after me all week to get it done. So I feel it was under duress, because she knows that I have medical conditions and I need to get that taken care of. She was literally hounding me, she said 'don't forget, we don't know what's going to happen to your medical benefits or retirement,' and she knows that I'm looking forward to retirement."

This meets outrage from the rest of the group. Sahhar: "That's a lie! There's no break in your medical in layoff, see they did it to scare you!" Norman: "See they're pissed off because we're fighting what we know is illegal, and we have the attorneys all on it. They want the employees to go fight CUE, not them. So they got us all scared and nervous and frightened, so they'll [the employees will] try to attack CUE." In an email, Sahhar explained that CUE has received declarations from members regarding the layoffs and START, to be added to CUE's ULP charge filed with PERB in Oct., but that she does not know if they came from Irvine or another campus.

"In collective bargaining, generally speaking, one of the things you try to avoid are gratuitous comments of actions which offend people. Because ultimately your intentions are trying to work to an agreement that you can live with."
-CUE's economist Peter Donohue, KUCI Podcast, Sept. 28, 2009

In UC's description of the Furlough/Salary Reduction Plan, which was implemented on Sept. 1 2009 and will last through August 31, 2010, explains that it will reduce an employee's total yearly salary from 4%-10%, depending on the amount of that salary, and lay him or her off for a corresponding amount of days.

The savings from this, the document explains, is expected to cover one quarter of UC's budget gap, as student fee increases (a 32% raise approved by the UC Board of Regents on Nov. 19) will cover another quarter of the deficit and cuts in spending "on campus and in the Office of the President" will take care of the rest. "For union-represented employees," the public document explains, "implementation of the plan will be subject to collective bargaining agreements and all applicable laws."

CUE did not accept this plan. At the meeting, Sahhar shows disappointment in UC's way of dealing with this disagreement from the union: "now [UC negotiators are] saying 'oh the furlough is off the table,' you guys didn't pick it so you don't get to pick that plan anymore. So instead we're going to do temporary layoffs.' and their temporary layoffs look very similar to the furlough plan, but minus the accruals that would have remained at 100%."

Indeed, in a July 16, 2009 letter to all faculty and staff at UC Riverside, Chancellor Timothy P. White tells employees directly that if "a given union chooses not to [concur with the furlough plan], then we will be forced to institute additional layoffs within such bargaining units. In this regard, I strongly encourage union members to contact their union leadership immediately and voice their preference between layoffs vs. furloughs."

Also, an article published July 17, 2009, Associated Press quotes UC President Mark Yudof stating, "If we didn't have furloughs then I think it's very likely that we would have to consider laying off people." Even the guidelines of the Furlough Plan from UC state that "the University is prepared to discuss alternative proposals from the unions, so long as they yield the same or similar cash savings as the furlough plan adopted by the Regents."

This, CUE refers to as "bad faith bargaining," which the Legal Definitions section of US Legal, Inc.'s website defines as a failure by employers and/or unions involved to "use their best endeavours to agree to an effective bargaining process, meet and consider and respond to proposals made by each other, respect the role of the other's representative by not seeking to bargain directly with those for whom the representative acts" and an undermining of "the bargaining process or the authority of the other's representative."

This is the reason that the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE), a union seemingly holding a very similar view to CUE of UC's bargaining style, filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with PERB in Sept. 2009, against the UC Regents. This charge reads:

"The University has announced an across-the-board 'salary reduction program' consisting of either furloughs or reductions in time or, for UPTE bargaining unit members, 'temporary layoffs' achieving the same result (the same salary savings and the same number of days off) as an equivalent furlough or reduction in time. UC informally sought to get UPTE to agree to such a paycut-in-exchange-for-days-off program [the Salary Reduction/Furlough Plan], but, when UPTE didn't agree, UC went ahead and unilaterally implemented its program anyway, without reaching impasse, much less exhausting post-impasse procedures."

It would seem that UC has simply changed the terminology of the Furlough/Salary Reduction plan, calling it "temporary layoffs" instead, so that the University then has the right to impose the same exact amount of pay cuts on unions which did not agree with the original plan.

As Sahhar explains at the CUE meeting:

"It's considered 'bad faith bargaining' because when you're bargaining, you're supposed to be bargaining for something better. But instead UC's saying 'you have this plan or this plan. Pick one. Take it or leave it.' That's not bargaining. That is UC dictating to us. So, that's where we are right now; UC wants to push us into what's called 'impasse.' They're trying to say that 'we cant negotiate any further, we've gone as far as we can, and we want to go into 'impasse' which means, when we negotiate again, we have to go into 'mediation.' And what mediation is, is UC sits in a room and we sit in a room, and we no longer sit at the table together, but the mediator goes back and forth from one room to the other, bringing proposals back and forth, to the two sides. During this time there's something called 'fact finding' and during that time UC has to give us all the information that we ask for. We have a whole bunch of requests for information out there right now that UC has not yet answered."

The Union UPTE is in a similar situation, as illustrated in their recent ULP charge against the Regents of UC. What follows is how UC seems to be treated all negotiating unions, including CUE:

"...the University urged UPTE to agree to place its members under the furlough plan. When UPTE did not promptly agree, the University began announcing, location by location that it would be unilaterally implementing a pre-impasse change, exacting precisely equivalent savings from UPTE members' paychecks (according to the graduated set of pay cuts by pay band described above), and providing precisely equivalent days off m exchange (again, according to the above salary bands), but that the pay cuts and time off would be imposed as 'temporary layoffs,' instead of 'furloughs.' The University explained this change in language as being necessary because the University believed that it had authority to impose unilaterally the former but not the latter."

"Furthermore, employees are being asked to negotiate the dates of their layoffs directly with management. As just one example among many, on September 18, 2009, UC Davis manager Robert Pattison told a group of assembled employees that they should talk with their managers directly about which days the layoffs should occur on. In the same meeting with employees, UC again reiterated that its conduct was legal because the parties' layoff article (now expired) permits temporary layoffs without bargaining."

"UC did not come even close to bargaining these decisions to impasse or agreement. Rather the Union's first notice of each decision was a notice presenting the decision as a "fait accomplit."

UPTE's demands to bargain were repeatedly rebuffed. Indeed, the University completely failed and refused to bargain regarding curtailment. With respect to temporary layoffs, the University did informally present the union with a furlough plan, but, when the union did not immediately agree to it, the University simply went ahead and imposed the near-identical temporary layoff plan, without bargaining and well before impasse."

As the right of the temporary layoffs to even take place is not an issue which UC will bargain over with unions, CUE has been hard at work negotiating the effects of such layoffs. On Nov. 13, in fact, Linda Weinberger, a 30-year Langston Library employee at UCI and relatively recent CUE member, traveled to Oakland to bargain with UC's Chief Negotiator Peter Chester and other UC representatives, along with one other CUE bargainer from each other campus.

"We were trying to make it as easy for UC as possible," she says, "and as a bargaining team, we decided to hold it up in the north, at the Office of the President, because then UC doesn't have to travel anywhere, they just have to walk down a flight of stairs to the bargaining room."

Of the actual issues at hand, at this bargaining session, Weinberger lists the following:

1) Stop at $13 million. "We are trying to make sure that UC does not take more than $13 million from CUE employees, which they told us is the amount they need. We have been trying for months to make sure that UC doesn't extend over that amount. So we are trying to adjust the figures of the temporary layoff days (and originally the furlough plan). That is in our proposal."

"What UC is proposing is that if you make $40,000 and below, you have 11 layoff days with a 4% salary reduction. If you make $40,001-50,000 you will get 13 layoff days at 5% salary reduction. Or, if you make $50,001 and above, you'll get 16 layoff days at a 6% salary reduction. They want this done over the course of a year, but instead of using figures to trigger the temporary layoffs, we're telling them that as soon as they hit their $13 million threshold, they must stop giving layoffs. So, while CUE's trying only let it go TO the $13 million, UC is always trying to sneak in higher percentages, and get more money from us. We don't know at this time how it's going to play out at this point."

2) Figure in START. "We also know that CUE members are on START, and we want them to figure in their START savings as part of the $13 million. [And therefore UC is only allowed to layoff as many more as get them to that amount]."

3) Freedom from START. "In the proposal, we also have a request to allow employees to go on and off START as they choose. If they are on START and they want to go into the layoff program, that has also been negotiated between CUE and UC."

4) Employees decide how to take the cut. "We're trying to give the employee the option, if they are laid off, whether they want to spread out the salary reduction over a 12 month period. So even though they are going to be laid off 11 days in a row, they would be able to take a portion of that amount out of each pay period over 12 months."

5) Unemployment benefits. "We're also saying that we want to give the employees the option of taking the temporary layoffs in one block of time, (regardless of how many days), and if that happens, you can file for unemployment starting from the first day you are laid off. They don't pay you the first week, that's the waiting period. Then, if you don't have another job elsewhere, you receive unemployment benefits, up to $450, depending on how much salary you make."

6) Curtailment-period layoff time. "If the employees choose so, they may take their layoff time over the curtailment period. That means, for example, the campus is closed between Dec. 18-21. Some of those days, UC says, they're already are going to be non-paying days. SO we want employees to have the option of choosing to take as many layoff days over campus closures. Or, if they don't want to do that, because they don't want their salaries to be reduced over December,...they can take temporary layoff days later on in the year."

7) No taking jobs. "We don't want the UC assigning the work of laid off workers to other workers. Because that would be unfair."

However, of the general negotiations, Weinberger says that "UC has been trying to circle back around to the Furlough-Reduction Plan, and to get the amount that they want. Whenever UC comes up with a new proposal, it's clear that they are trying to give us as little as they can, and get from us as much as they can."

A Bargaining Report from that meeting will be issued within a few days.

"[UC] They always 'don't know' and explain 'oh, I have to get back to you on that,' and we have to give them written requests for information whenever we want to know anything, and then we have to wait to get it back. And we've been waiting months. I mean we've been waiting three years from some information discrepancies from our last contract, and we still haven't received some of that information regarding the finances."
-Dianna Sahhar, President of Local 9/Irvine Campus Local of CUE.

Bargaining most effectively with UC, in fact, often requires some knowledge of facts, with facts to confirm those facts. But when CUE received notice from UC that $13 million was needed from the clerical unit, and CUE's economist, Peter Donohue, concluded that that was "way high," the University provided the union with no more than an excel spreadsheet to explain the amount, the first with incorrect or suspicious formulas, according to Sahhar, and the second with no formulas at all.

This was all a product of CUE's direct dealing with the UC Office of the President, Labor Relations, and with the Budget Office. "I don't quite understand why we have this half-billion-dollar talent up there, all over the place, when they tell us they can't provide us with HR [Human Resources] information, with budget information, all this stuff," Donohue says in an interview on KUCI podcast in Sept. of this year, "Which, when we talk to people who actually do the work, the people who manage, for example, the campus ledgers, they're telling us that that's available every day. They do a daily reconciliation of these things. Now, some place there's a disconnect."

Donohue, a Ph.D. economist from Portland, Oregon, also explains:

"...University administrators are the rudest and most disrespectful negotiators I've ever encountered. Now, not UC particularly, UCI I would say would be in the middle of the pack. And I've dealt with University systems from Washington to Oregon to here [UC] as well as at CSU, and, by comparison, University administrators seem to have the notion that they know, and you don't, and you should basically do what you're told. [Another more] practical problem of some import is that, in every single negotiation we [CUE] has had, University is disrespectful in a sense of the law, which requires that, under their legal duty to bargain, they also have a duty to provide information.

University is notorious for its unwillingness to provide information. Information that other employers, particularly employers right now who are in actual crises, have no difficulty and are completely willing to provide. I was doing County of San Francisco negotiations with one of the bigger unions in town, and we received everything we asked for.

By comparison, here, what we're told is, 'oh, our computer systems don't work really well, our data systems can't generate that info,' or we're given information which turns out to be just plain wrong! Over and over again. Now, that indifference to providing information, or accurate information, does not reflect well and it doesn't show respect towards employees. I think that's exactly the wrong path to take at a moment like this."

"The University’s goal is to maintain market-based competitive salaries for its employees. This means providing sufficient funds, through a combination of merits and COLAs [Cost of Living Adjustments], to maintain UC faculty salaries at the average of the salaries provided at the eight comparison institutions, and to provide salary increases for other employees that, on average, at least keep pace with inflation and the marketplace."
-UC's public statement, UCOP Budget Request for 2004-05 [Program Maintenance: Fixed Costs and Economic Factors]

The Union's expert on market comparisons Kathleen J Hurley and her associates released a special report for CUE entitled "Compensation at UC," examining compensation reports and information provided by UC as well as other public documents and resources comparing UC compensation to that of other employers.

This research concluded that, when compared to those of the CSU systems, UC blank assistants earn approximately 22.7 percent less. For example, large lags exist for Library Assistants at UC, who earn roughly 33.4 percent less than those comparable at CSU (Library assistants at CSULA were shown, as of 2004, to be paid 33.37% more than those at UCLA), and Irvine Dispatcher positions earn roughly 24.67 percent less than CSU. Further, this overall salary includes the worth of benefits, which, in the UCs, rate very well in the market in comparison to 17 select private organizations.

Considering the previous example, then, this ultimately means that a Library Assistant at UC is paid, on average, $805 less per month in wages, and will receive $563 less per month in retirement benefits at age 55 after 20 years of service. UC pay for clerical workers even lags behind those of several California community colleges, also listed in the report. It is no surprise that the majority of UC clerical workers leave after less than 5 years of service, according to the report. And the added reduced salaries, weather through the furloughs or temporary layoffs, would add additional lag to employees who are already fundamentally under-paid.

At the same time, CUE's economist Peter Donohue recently took his presentation, called "UC's Hidden Wealth," on a "road show" to several UC campuses, to convince onlookers that not only does UC have the financial resources to avoid this pay cuts, but that it also treated several UC executives, supposedly on the same day that the Regents voted for the furlough schedule on July 16, 2009. CUE member Katherine Renfro is quotes on CUE's website as stating that "We know the University has the resources. The Regents gave bonuses and raises to senior managers and executives on the same day they voted in the plan for furloughs, salary cuts, and layoffs. That money could be used to save the jobs of our fellow workers, lower student fees, and to uphold the mission of the University of California."

Norman, in a recent email to Senators Boxer and Feinstein, states that,

"UC is taking from the lower paid and increasing the higher paid. The lower paid are predominately women making [about] 35 percent below market salaries, [and] most of them are CUE. We are being threatened to take pay cuts when we are living from paycheck to paycheck, and most of the higher paid are making $500,000 to 1 million per year and live in mansions they do not have to pay [for]. Including other perks...Please advise and please help us. Many of us have families of single parent households and are facing evictions or will become homeless because we cannot pay our bills due to the cuts while this will not affect those with higher pay salaries those above $200,00/year and there are many of them. I do not understand how Congress Legislatures can allow this to happen to hard working lower paid women who are the heart of the University system."

These "perks" that Norman mentions, helping the wealthy become wealthier than perhaps is healthy for any person or family during the state of the world today, was confirmed July 16, 2009's "Report of Interim Actions," from the Office of the Secretary and Chief of Staff. These pay raises, promotions and perks were summarized by the UPTE union in a press release from July 23, 2009:

"Several executives were appointed at salaries from 11% to 59% higher than their predecessors. The regents also voted to give 'administrative stipends' ranging from $24,000 to $58,625 to several employees, without any extra duties, and added several new highly paid executive positions."

This release goes on to list the specifics, the names mentioned, the increases in question for those executives, and several links to documents on the UC website for further investigation. These facts were printed in several California newspapers, mostly in early August, 2009.

So, did top executives really get raises? Technically, yes. What UC calls "a promotion" including higher pay with a "correspondingly" higher workload, CUE calls greed. Either way, one must ask oneself: Doesn't reduced staff and more students mean a higher workload, in terms of finances or time, for the remaining staff and students as well? There are no raises, perks or promotions among the lowest-paid groups (such as clericals), or among the very body that is the fundamental reason for the University existing in the first place. Is it fair?


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