Friday, September 17, 2010

The Regents Must Have Two Heads

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.

11 comments:

  1. they don't have two heads
    they have velcro consciences
    easily removable
    during regent meetings
    -and the dinners are even worse

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bob Samuels wrote: "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?"

    I know I may come off sounding like I wear a tin foil hat, but it is my belief that the "Org Simp" part of "Org X " is designed to remove a significant number of workers in those collective bargaining units.
    IF it is not a strategic part of the plan it will be, then, a happy coincidence for the Powers That Be

    ReplyDelete
  3. "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."

    Bob, you do great work, but after the past year do you not see that neither the Regents nor Mark Yudof has the moral center that would prompt them to feel the need to justify this immoral behavior?

    I agree with Anon10:28. Yudof is about to use his self-appointed special powers to lay off large numbers of front-line department staff, including represented ones. We should be thinking strategy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Posted on UC Berkeley's "Operational Excellence" website Friday night (always a good time to post dicey items):
    http://tinyurl.com/23cwpb9

    My favorite line is:
    "The transition will also be bumpy, and for some, personally painful."

    ReplyDelete
  5. I realize now that the "personally painful" line in my previous post is a horrible echo of Argentine investigative journalist Rodolfo Walsh's "Open Letter from a Writer to the Military Junta" in 1977:
    "...It is in the economic policy of this government where one discovers not only the explanation for the crimes, but a greater atrocity which punishes millions of human beings through planned misery..." How DARE UC and its hired guns announce to us that they are planning to devastate our lives? What are we letting happen here?

    ReplyDelete
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