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CSU Managers Reap "Merit" Bonuses While Unit 4 Employees Linger at Bottom of Salary Ranges

APC Files New PERB Charge Over Unilateral Change to SLO SSP "Classification Definitions"

10/31/2014

A brand-new "Demographic and Payroll Data Analysis" conducted by APC confirms what we all suspected: It is now harder than ever for Unit 4 employees to advance through the ranks.  Among the most shocking results:

  • More than half of all full-time Unit 4 employees (1235 of 2313, or 53%) are stuck in the lowest five percent of their salary ranges.
  • More than a third of all full-time Unit 4 employees (842 of 2313, or 36%) have to make do with the lowest possible salary of their salary range.
  • Only one (1) full-time Unit 4 employee enjoys the highest possible salary of his or her range.

For some classifications, the picture is even more bleak: In the most numerous classification, 557 (67%) of all 835 SSP IIAs are in the lowest 5% and 426 (51%) receive the lowest possible salary of that salary range.

While it is difficult to progress within a classification, it is even more difficult to advance through the classifications.  For example, at San Luis Obispo, the SSP "Classification Definitions" used to state: "[I]t is reasonable to expect that most Student Services [P]rofessionals, through good performance and professional competencies, could expect to reach the SSPIII level."  This statement has been deleted from the "Classification Definitions," without prior notice to APC and an opportunity to meet and confer.  APC has filed an Unfair Practice Charge with the California Public Employment Relations Board over this unilateral change.

To add insult to injury, new information obtained by APC shows that CSU managers continue to reap "merit" bonuses that--unlike our Long Term Service Bonuses or Educational Achievement Stipends--are "pensionable," i.e., increase the pension benefits these managers will receive once they retire.  In fact, these "merit" bonuses appear to be on the up-tick:  While in fiscal year 2012-13, management "merit" bonuses totaled $262, 141.24, in fiscal year 2013-14, that amount increased to $330.736.73.  In the latter year, one manager at East Bay received three "merit" bonuses that added up to $32,000.00 (no typo).

There are some indications that Chancellor White wants to reign in the worst management excesses and that he also wants to make employee salaries more equitable.  Obviously, he has his work cut out for him.  Management is still acting as if the CSU coffers were its own private bank account.  And while our negotiated general salary increases of 3% in this year and 2% in each of the two next years stop the further erosion of our salaries, at least for the time being, they do not begin to repair the salary erosion that we have suffered over the last decade or so.  More needs to be done.