Cal Poly faculty protest campus pay gap
May 15, 2015
About 200 Cal Poly faculty members, as well as some student sympathizers, marched outside the administration building Thursday to protest the pay discrepancy between administrators and teachers. [Tribune]
The university faculty union organized the protest, which reached high decibel levels as protesters blew whistles and passing drivers honked their horns. Demonstrators carried signs saying “Money for Managers, Promises for Profs” and “It’s Gone Too Far.”
The faculty union says university spending on administrators increased by 43 percent between 2010 and 2014. The number of administrators rose by 39 percent, according to the union.
Over that same period, the number of students and faculty members each increased by 10 percent. Tuition rose by 41 percent.
CSU trustees approved the hiring of current Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong in early 2011. Armstrong received a compensation package that included $350,000 in yearly pay plus an annual $30,000 supplement that comes from the Cal Poly Foundation.
Until Armstrong’s hiring, the university’s published salary range for campus presidents was $223,584 to $328,212.
Cal Poly administrators currently make an average salary of $107,000, according to the faculty union. Lecturers make an average of $31,000, and the average professor receives $80,000.
Faculty members received an $80 a month increase in 2013-2014, their first raise in six years. Another 1.6 percent raise followed this year, with some lower-paid faculty members receiving a 3 percent pay increase, according to the union.
In all, most faculty members’ salaries increased by 3 percent between 2010 and 2014.
The union is preparing for CSU negotiations on a contract for the upcoming fiscal year. On Thursday, the union presented a letter to Armstrong calling for a rollback of administration pay to 2010 levels and a system linking any future pay hikes to matching increases for faculty.
Armstrong said there are $2.5 million set aside for faculty and staff equity pay increases over the next four years. He said the funds are not enough to distribute to every faculty group each year, and the university will start with the groups that need it the most.
Previous Cal Poly president Warren Baker is currently San Luis Obispo County’s highest earning pensioner. Baker received a $250,687 pension in 2013, which was the 20th-highest in the CalPERS system.