Thursday, January 26, 2012

Statement on CSU Presidential Pay

The CSU has released a statement which clarifies their new policy on presidential compensation.

Here is the complete text of that message:

New Policy Set Forth for Presidential Compensation

The California State University Board of Trustees this week adopted a new policy that caps compensation for newly-hired presidents to no more than 10 percent above the outgoing president’s base pay.

The new policy was recommended by the board's Special Committee on Presidential Selection and Compensation that has been reviewing the system's selection process and executive compensation structure since last summer.

The new policy also includes a list of five tiers of institutions that compare with CSU campuses on location, enrollment, budget, six-year graduation rates and research funding. The comparison list will be used as a reference for presidential compensation along with an individual candidates' reputation for national policy leadership, length and depth of executive experience, and consistent with other uses of resources within the annual budget.

In the past, presidential compensation was determined with reference to the compensation of presidents at 20 institutions throughout the country identified by the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) as appropriate comparators. The CPEC comparator list included public and private institutions such as USC, Tufts and Rutgers and presidents with salaries as high as $2 million which created a salary market "gap" of more than 40 percent for the CSU’s presidents. That gap has been reduced with the new comparators.

The new policy language states "...when a presidential vacancy occurs, the initial base salary, paid with public funds to the successor president, shall not exceed 10 percent of the previous incumbent's pay."

"The new compensation limits, and the more relevant tiered list of comparator institutions, will give stakeholders a good benchmark of where presidential compensation will be set as we move forward," said CSU Board Chair Herbert Carter. "Our continued goal is to recruit and compete for the best leadership possible, but also within articulated budget guidelines."

The CSU is in the process of presidential searches at Northridge, San Bernardino, San Francisco and the Maritime Academy. The adopted compensation policy will be implemented as the board makes presidential selections and determines the salary levels of newly hired presidents.

Limits Placed on Presidential Salaries

Several months ago, the Board of Trustees voted to pay the new president at San Diego State University $100,000 more per year than the outgoing president was receiving. Less than 20 minutes later, that same board voted to raise student fees by 12%.

Needless to say, this sparked a rather large public outcry, and at least two bills were introduced by state legislators to restrict the salaries CSU could pay their top executives. Not surprisingly, the CSU opposed those bills, claiming it would interfere with their abilities to hire "the best and the brightest" candidates for these jobs.

At the Board of Trustees meeting held on January 25th, the following resolution was passed, somewhat unexpectedly and without comment by the Trustees. It limits new presidential salaries to a maximum increase of 10% over what the previous president received at each campus.

RESOLVED, by the Board of Trustees of the California State University, that the following is the compensation policy of the California State University:

1. The goal of the CSU continues to be to attract, motivate, and retain the most highly qualified individuals to serve as faculty, staff, administrators, and executives, whose knowledge, experience, and contributions can advance the university’s mission.

2. It is the continued intent of the Board of Trustees to compensate all CSU employees in a manner that is fair, reasonable, competitive, and fiscally prudent, in respect to the system budget and state funding.

3. To that end, the CSU will continue to evaluate competitive and fair compensation for all CSU employees based on periodic market comparison surveys.

4. In addition, the CSU will maintain and update annually a tiered list of CSU comparison institutions for Presidential compensation. The list will take into account location, enrollment, budget, percentage of students receiving Pell Grants, six year graduation rates, research funding, and such other subjects as from time to time be deemed appropriate. Presidential compensation will be guided with reference to the mean of the appropriate tier of comparison institutions, together with an individual candidate's reputation for national policy leadership and length and depth of executive experience.

5. Notwithstanding the presidential compensation criteria enumerated in item 4 (above) and until the Board of Trustees of the California State University determines otherwise, when a presidential vacancy occurs, the initial base salary, paid with public funds, to the successor president, shall not exceed ten percent of the previous incumbent’s pay.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tentative Agreement Reached!

After more than a year of full-contract bargaining between the CSU and CSUEU, both sides have reached a tentative agreement.

You can read all the details on the CSUEU's Tentative Agreement website.

It is expected that the Board of Trustees will vote to ratify the agreement tomorrow, as they are required to do.

If they accept the TA, then the bargaining team will send members to each campus to explain the changes in the proposed agreement, as well as answer member's questions.

Once that process concludes, each member will be sent a contract ratification ballot by mail. Voting is by bargaining unit, and a "Yes" vote means to accept the terms of the Tentative Agreement, while a "No" vote would require the team to return to the bargaining table.

The contract, while not perfect, offers some important gains for us, and limits parking fee increases to a maximum of $3 per year, and only in a year where we receive a general salary increase (GSI).

The Bargaining Team recommends ratification of the agreement.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Contract News Coming Soon

The CSUEU and CSU bargaining teams met yesterday and today in Long Beach, continuing bargaining over the full contract. CSUEU will be publishing an update regarding this week's bargaining session.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dire Predictions from CSU if Tax Hike Fails

The following was sent out today from the Chancellor's Office. It illustrates just how serious a funding gap the CSU is facing, along with the threat even larger cuts if the proposed sales tax increase fails to pass during the fall election.

CSU to Receive Additional $200 Million Cut if November Tax Measures Don't Pass

The California State University received no new funding in Governor Brown's 2012-13 proposed budget, thus making permanent the recent $750 million cuts to the system. Without any new funding, the system is at its lowest state funding level in 15 years, while the CSU serves 90,000 more students today.

Governor Brown's budget plan relies on the passage of a tax measure that would raise income taxes on high-income earners and increase the state sales tax. If voters do not approve the measure, a series of trigger cuts will go into effect, including an additional $200 million cut to the CSU, making the system's two-year cut $950 million—a staggering 35 percent reduction. This additional $200 million cut is equal to denying admission to 27,000 students, and it exceeds the current combined state funding of four of the smallest CSU campuses. For Cal State San Bernardino, the trigger cut would result in an additional reduction of nearly $8 million.

In two of the last four fiscal years, state support to the CSU has been reduced dramatically, forcing the CSU Board of Trustees to approve sizable tuition fee increases, reduce enrollment, implement furloughs and eliminate student programs and services—to name a few. Even with tuition fee increases, revenue from fee hikes has not kept pace with state funding cuts. For the current academic year, tuition increases raised approximately $300 million, but the CSU sustained a $750 million cut.

The CSU will continue to work with the Governor and legislature to avoid further cuts; however, if the additional $200 million trigger cuts are sustained, extremely difficult tradeoffs will be considered, including possible additional cuts to academic programs and student services, or further increases in tuition.

The CSU believes California must make public higher education a priority again; otherwise, the long-term harm is that California will find itself with far fewer college graduates to step into higher-paying, knowledge-based jobs that are necessary to the state's economic recovery.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Social Security Payroll Tax Changes

For those CSU staff concerned about the social security rate change in your December, 2011 paycheck, the state has put out a document which may help explain things:

Social Security Paycheck Change

Also, the cost of several health care providers has increased in price. Some providers, like Kaiser, have almost doubled their monthly rates, starting this month. Also, check your co-pay amounts, as these may also have changed. Your campus employee benefits office can give you specific information regarding your health and benefits plan.

The rates these plans charge for coverage is established by negotiations between CalPERS and the various state health service providers, not by CSUEU.

For information on CalPERS, including checking your retirement and benefit information on-line, visit their website located at WWW.CalPERS.CA.GOV.