AB53 Freeze salaries of state employees making more than $150,000 a year.

In today’s Republican Caucus newsletter was a reference to AB 53, new legislation being proposed to freeze salaries of state employees earning over $150,000 per year.
Headline “High-Earning State Employees’ Pay May Be Frozen”

The entry reads:  “Fed up with large pay raises for executives of California’s public universities, the chairman of the Assembly’s higher-education committee introduced legislation yesterday that would freeze salaries of state employees who make more than $150,000 a year. The measure specifically includes executives and other high-paid officials at the California State University system. It urges the University of California system – which enjoys constitutional autonomy – to impose the same restraints.” 

 The Bill, AB 53, opens as follows: THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:   SECTION 1.  Section 18005 is added to the Government Code, to read:

   18005.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
   (1) For several years, the State of California has faced budget deficits requiring cuts and changes in priorities in order to fund state activities.
   (2) In recent months, the United States economy has been dealt severe blows due to the credit crisis and the housing market crisis, and their resulting effects upon the financial markets.
   (3) The ongoing structural deficit in state finances, complicated  by worsening economic developments, has created a fiscal crisis in the governance of the state.
   (4) After a nearly three-month deadlock, the Legislature passed the $103.4 billion Budget Act of 2008 that addressed a $15.2 billion budget shortfall.
   (5) As the new fiscal year begins, the state is once again facing  a large budget shortfall. In the third quarter of 2008, the state took in $1.1 billion less than projected. Economic conditions, including declining property values and stock prices and soaring unemployment rates, have generated capital losses rather than capital
gains and reduced sales tax, property tax, and income tax revenues.
These conditions have been estimated to lead to a $15 billion to $18  billion budget deficit entering the 2009-10 budget year.
   (6) In addition, the state may be required to spend as much as  $3.5 billion during the 2008-09 fiscal year on prison health care.
   (7) Freezing certain state salaries will help to alleviate the  budget shortfall currently facing the state.
   (b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), a person employed by  the state whose base salary on the effective date of this section is greater than one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) per year shall not receive any of the following:
   (1) A salary increase while employed in the same position or  classification.
   (2) Payment for overtime work.
   (3) A bonus or other compensation in excess of the person’s base  salary.
   (c) Subdivision (b) shall not apply to any of the following:
   (1) A person whose base salary or other compensation is governed by an operative memorandum of understanding entered into pursuant to Chapter 10.3 (commencing with Section 3512) or Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 3560) of Division 4 of Title 1, or pursuant to another collective bargaining agreement.

Let me reference another document from the Committee on Compensation related to recommended compensation increases dated March 19, 2008. This 11 page report was sent to the Regents of the University of CA. with the following recommendations:

Vickie L. Ruiz, Dean-School of Humanities, Irvine Campus  $221,300

Maureen L. Zehntner, Associate Vice Chancellor & CEO Medical Center, Irvine campus $555,000

Anthony Perez, Chief Health Sciences Counsel, SD Campus  $210,000

Michele Cucullu, Investment Officer-Private Equity Investments, office of the President $170,000

Thomas Lurquin, Director-Private Equity, Office of the President $213,466

Kay Harrison Taber, Assistant Vice President-Administrative Services, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Office of the President $150,000

Julianne J. Larsen, Actign Associate Vice Chancellor-University Development, SD Campus  $200,330

Steven W. Relyea, Acting Vice Chancellor-External Relations, SD Campus $285,000

David Rein, Director-Finance and Operations, UCSF Medical Group & Acting Vice Dean-Administration, Finance, and Clinical Affairs, School of Medicine, SF Campus

Ronald L King, CFO, Health Affairs, Irvine Campus  $431,500

Ronaldo G Espiritu, Associate Dean for Business & Fiscal Affairs, Health Sciences, SD Campus  $221,600

And a few examples at the Merced Campus:
Keith Alley, Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost   $240,500
John Garamendi II, Vice Chancellor for University Relations  $207,200
Mary Miller, Vice Chancellor for Administration $203,500
Maria Pallavicini, Dean, School of Natural Sciences  $203,400
Jeffrey Wright, Dean, School of Engineering  $202,400
Richard Kogut, Associate Vice Chancellor & CIO  $187,700
Jane Lawrence, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs  $181,800
Robert Miller, University Librarian  $162,300

Notes: The above recommended increases do not include health and welfare benefits
As we struggle to keep our heads above water, I would think that everyone on the public payroll recognize our statewide financial crisis and be grateful they still have a job.
Whether you feel the above wages are warranted is not the question today.

Do you agree or disagree with the intent of AB 53 to freeze these high paying wages?

If so, can I make a request that you contact your elected State Assembly and State Senate representatives to share your thougths so they can cast an informed vote!
Thank you!

About Larry Gilbert