Raises for CSU executives to be under scrutiny this week at Long Beach meeting

Leaders of the California Faculty Association Monday said they will be at upcoming committee meetings of the California State University Board of Trustees to speak out against executive pay raises.

CFA, the union representing thousands of professors, issued a statement that they intend to address the Finance Committee on Tuesday in Long Beach about the raises, as well as a funding request to be made of Gov.-Elect Gavin Newsom and student mental health care.

Shortly after the 2018-19 budget was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown with an increase in funding for the CSU system, the Chancellor’s Office proposed 20-30 percent pay increases in executive pay for some presidents.

Brown sent a strongly worded letter to the board urging them not to move forward with the executive pay raises.

The board voted to postpone its decision about those increases in order to conduct further studies. When that decision was made, California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and some trustees were reportedly “aghast” about the prospect of increasing wages so much, according to the CFA.

“CFA, along with student activists, ran a campaign for this budget that focused on racial justice, equity, and access for students turned away from the CSU, not on executive pay increases,” CFA President Jennifer Eagan said in a letter to the board in September.

The board in July did approve a 3 percent increase for the 23 campus presidents, five vice chancellors and CSU Chancellor Timothy White.

Mike Uhlenkamp, the chancellor’s office spokesman, said the approved increase was a similar percentage to what was given recently to employee groups, with the exception of the faculty, who will receive a larger 3.5 pay increase.

“When the budget is good,” Uhlenkamp told Cal State Fullerton’s Daily Titan, “then we negotiate contracts with our represented employees that lock them in to giving them raises over a number of years.”

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