After the UC Regents voted to increase employee contributions to the pension plan, they quickly moved to the next important business, which was to vote for special compensation packages for some of the highest paid people in the system. As State Senator Leland Lee wrote in a press release, the regents voted for executive salary increases totaling $6 million, and they also approved the plan to hire more administrators for a an additional $2.4 million annually. My favorite example of executive excess is UCLA Medical Center CEO David Feinberg who got a $400,000 raise and will now make $1,330,000 per year.
So after another budget presentation about the huge UC deficit, which may require another round of student fee increases, the regents and senior management must have gone to their second brains in order to approve a series of obscene compensation packages. I simply do not understand how they can justify cutting the benefits and total compensation of most of the employees, while they immediately move to increase the pay and benefits of the highest earners.
As I told President Yudof during my public comment minute, not only does it look like the university is intent on robbing the poor to give to the rich, but they cover this reverse income distribution with a rhetoric of fairness and equity. I also said that if he wants to put together a task force to reshape benefits, it makes no sense to have zero union representation on the task force. After all, 45% of the people in the pension plan are unionized, and any new deal will have to go through the unions, so why does Yudof continue to form tasks forces and commissions that exclude almost half of the employees?
On a brighter note Bob Anderson and Dan Simmons from the Academic Council asked some tough questions and made some positive statements. Perhaps we now have an academic council that will hold the regents and senior management accountable.