The Rich Get Richer: CSU Execs Take, But They Don’t Give

Critical literacy addresses injustices in our world and seeks to transform the world to make it a better place. So we call injustice when faculty are offered 2% pay increase and CSU Chancellor Joe Castro and CSU presidents are offered a potential 30% over the next 3 years. Combined with the decrease in wages of 17% over the past 20 years (adjusted for inflation), acceptance of the administration offer would amount to a 20% pay cut for faculty. So CSU execs get 30% increase and faculty get a 20% decrease. All that when the state has a $76 billion surplus. Faculty get paid below the national average for doctoral graduates, at a time when California costs are 49% higher than the national cost of living. Finally, other public service employees have receive salaries that allow them to afford living in California.

Chancellor Joseph Castro took a 31% increase offered the faculty 2% total over a three year period. Presidents also received a large increase; faculty 2%. The state that you pay taxes to has a $76 billion surplus which is a 22% increase; faculty are offered 2%. The cost of living is 49% higher; faculty wage is below the national average. California police and fire fighters receive 60% higher wages than the national average; CSU professors about 5% more than the national average. CSU professors can’t even afford to buy a home in the Bay Area or Southern California.

  1. Professors are below average LA costs are above average.  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics average pay for a person with a doctorate degree in 2019 is about $1825 weekly or $94,900 a year. The CSU figures for average for all levels of professor and lecturer is $92,511.  The cost of living in California is 49% higher than the national average and yet the CSU offer seems to indicate that we should receive lower than national average wages.  Do you think our professors are below average?
  2. Our pay increases have not equaled inflation. Inflation for the last 20 years has been 54% (7-01 to 7-21), faculty has only received a total of 37% general salary increases since that time.  So for those hired before 2001, our wages have essentially decreased by 17%.  With inflation at 5.4%, we would give up at least another 3-6% in earning power when the CSU imposes the 2% general salary increase for a total of 20% loss.  So CSU execs get 30% increase and faculty lose 20% buying power.  While private industry wages have increased in the 12 months (measured in 6/21) in LA by 5.4% the CSU wants to give faculty 2% increase total until July 2022.
  3. Executive pay increases are 30% to 36%. CSU Chancellor Castro announced pay for presidents which is currently at $300,000 to $450,000 to be increased by 10% a year for 3 years depending on market data.  UC President Drake’s salary when hired was $890,000 a 36% increase over former UC President Napolitano’s $570,000.  Chancellor Castro started this year with a salary of $625,000, a 31% increase over former Chancellor White’s salary of $477,771.  Most people assume their salary will be lower when first getting hired to a position and then it will increase to a level comparative to experienced employees.  Castro, Drake, & other executives took the salaries of their experienced predecessors and added over 30%.  Castro’s salary is as high as the governor of California (est. $225,000) and the President of the United States ($400,000) combined.  CSU execs get 30% and faculty get 2%.  So next time our chancellor or president calls for justice and equity, you know they don’t practice it.  They are manipulating.  If they believed in justice and equity in their own work place, they would take increases similar to those offered to others at the university.  We have allies though in the CSU Board of Trustees. Seven voted to stay on Santa’s nice list: Abrego, Faigin, Khames, Kimbell, Raynes, Sabalius, & Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis.
  4. Other public jobs have received increases over the national average to compensate for the high cost of living in California.  California police and fire fighters earn an average wage of 60% more than the mean national wage.  If you think that they deserve it or not, you are missing the point.  Police and firefighter pay is adjusted to the cost of living in LA and California which is over 49% higher.  National median pay for postsecondary teachers is $80,560.  Add our 49% higher cost of living, we should be averaging $120,034.
  5. CSU and State is flush with money now. We pay a lot in taxes in California.  Let’s not settle for a below average wage for professors.  The State of California currently has a $76 billion dollar surplus and has received $27 billion in federal aid.  Last year’s budget went from $202 billion to this year’s budget as $262 billion.  That is a 22% increase.  This year the state allocated $550 million in additional funds to the CSU after restoring the $299 million cut from last year.  The 4% increase the CFA proposes would cost $90 million each year for 3 years plus $20 million for steps and post promotion increases (CFA figures).  CSU thinks it will cost $361 million. So the state income goes up 22%, but the CSU administration offers faculty only 2%.

Because this proposal shows such a complete disrespect of the faculty that the Chancellor will not likely be able to recover from, I call for the resignation of Chancellor Joseph Castro.