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Press Release: UC Faculty Outraged by "The Gilded 36", Worried About Repercussions

From the Berkeley Faculty Association
Tuesday January 04, 2011 - 04:25:00 PM

Nearly 1000 UC faculty and staff have signed a petition to UC President Mark Yudof condemning the demands of the 36 UC executives threatening to sue UC over the pension cap on salaries above $245K. The number of signatories is remarkable given that the petition has been circulating for less than two days and campuses are only slowly reopening after winter break. Approximately 80% of the signatories are faculty. 

The petition reads in part: 

"At a time when the UC pension system is endangered and the entire instructional and research enterprise of UC is imperiled we find it outrageous that these managers -- whose very job it is to steward the system -- would demand exorbitant pension compensation. They cannot have it both ways: private sector salary levels and public employee pensions. 

The damage to the image of the university from excessive executive pay and benefits, and now from this threat of a law-suit….has been immense. Most of us work for reasonable salaries but also for the public good. If the elite earners do not care enough about the public university to stay, then let them depart for the private sector. We believe you can find dedicated people within and without UC who would be willing and able to replace these individuals." 

Signatory comments, many of which issue from distinguished faculty, range from "disgusting," "immoral," "shameful" and "fire them all" to "how about capping UC salaries at $245K?" and "this arrogant act of greed is symptomatic of the whole orientation of the current UC administration." Many signers, both faculty and staff, emphasized in their comments the importance of working for UC as public servants rather than as a road to private wealth. None bought the argument that excessive compensation packages are essential to attracting the talent that makes UC great or makes it run well. 

The Berkeley Faculty Association and SAVE the University, sponsors of the petition, are committed to maintaining the integrity of the UC pension system in combination with public sector salary scales.