Public Sector Growth: California Higher Education Edition

So much for drastic cuts to higher education in California. I realize that many of these higher salaries are doctors and athletic directors that may add revenue to the UC system. However, the overall upward trend in salaries at UC calls into question the idea of a higher education “crisis” in California. As the Sacramento Bee reports:

Overall compensation for UC’s 250,000 employees rose 2.5 percent in 2009. By comparison, compensation in 2008 was 7.4 percent higher than 2007. The number of UC employees earning more than $100,000 in 2009 increased by 5 percent — to about 22,600 workers — and the number earning more than $1 million went from eight to 10, the data analysis shows.

Check out this description of hardship and insight into the general mentality of public sector workers:

Lynn Perani, a researcher in the dairy lab at UC Davis, saw her salary drop to $30,000 last year — from $41,000 the year before — because grant funding for her program fell. With less funding, Perani said she was offered only part-time work for much of 2009.

She and her husband cut back on meals out, choosing Denny’s instead of white linen. And Perani, 55, postponed her retirement. “We haven’t starved. We haven’t been homeless. But it has impacted my life,” she said.

Perani said it’s frustrating to see other UC employees making more while her salary gets cut.

“If one person gets a raise, then everybody should be getting raises,” she said. “Or if we have to cut back, then everybody should cut back. It’s just unfair.”

Yes, everyone should share the pain in times of budget cutbacks regardless of the value they add to the University …
And it is a terrible crisis: $30,000 for part-time work, eating at Denny’s, and postponing retirement past fifty-five.

UC salaries