Time to rein them in’: Amendment would limit UC salaries, tuition hikes
SACRAMENTO — An effort to change the state Constitution that would tie University of California tuition increases and low-level employee wages to the number of UC administrators paid more than the governor has been launched by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton.
Galgiani introduced her amendment proposal Monday with the goal of letting California voters have a say in the university’s budget priorities. The local legislator is downright angry about UC’s latest plan to increase student tuition.
“I feel their approach in 2009 was deceptive,” she said.
“It’s time to rein them in because they haven’t been able to do it themselves.”
Under Galgiani’s proposed amendment, in any year that the UC pays more than 600 administrators a salary above that paid to the governor — currently $190,100 — the university may not increase tuition or enter into contracts paying substandard wages to those who provide cleaning and maintenance services.
“I arrived at the number 600 after eliminating clinical (medical) and faculty job classifications. Only administrative positions — executives, managers and academic administrators — are included,” Galgiani said in a statement announcing her proposal.
To move forward, the Galgiani constitutional amendment must be approved by two-thirds of the members of both the Assembly and state Senate, then go before the state’s voters for ratification. If approved by simple majority, it becomes law the day after the election.
Galgiani admits her proposal for an amendment to the constitution tied to the governor’s salary is a bit unusual, but she believes it has merit and will resonate with fellow legislators.
“I recognize that UC will say they need to pay so many administrators so much more than the governor for ‘competitive reasons.’ That may or may not be true. If it is true, then the principle of ‘competitive’ should be applied to more than just them,” Galgiani’s statement continued.
When contacted for comment Tuesday, Claire Doan, a spokeswoman for the UC Office of the President, issued the following terse statement: “We’re carefully evaluating the constitutional amendment proposed by Senator Galgiani.”
Galgiani also noted that between 2004 and 2014, UC expanded management and senior professional positions by 60 percent, even outnumbering tenure-track faculty. “And faculty numbers have not kept track with rising enrollment,” she said.
She also has a difficult time accepting UC’s need to raise in-state tuition to $11,502 plus a student fee increase to $1,128.
“Students can’t afford to go to college anymore,” she said.
“Students from lower-income families can’t compete for admission slots with wealthy foreign and out-of-state students who can afford to pay more. And UC’s growing reliance on low-wage, largely immigrant subcontracted service workers creates a competitive disadvantage for its own employees who have to weather the storm.”