While union deals with pay freeze, top MnSCU administrators get $415K in bonuses
ST. PAUL More than $415,875 in one-time performance pay went to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system presidents and vice chancellors this year -- again sparking outrage from union officials whose members are dealing with a pay freeze....
More than $415,875 in one-time performance pay went to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system presidents and vice chancellors this year -- again sparking outrage from union officials whose members are dealing with a pay freeze.
A Friday afternoon news release praised the leaders for progress on retention of minority and low-income students, an increase in science and technology course enrollment and a spike in online enrollment.
But as with last year, news of the incentive pay drew sharp rebukes from groups representing rank-and-file employees in the system.
Presidents received bonuses ranging up to $15,000, the maximum amount allowed under their contracts. Their salaries have been frozen for the past two years.
"We are proud of what the presidents have accomplished under especially difficult economic conditions," said Scott Thiss, the chairman of the system's Board of Trustees, in the release.
MnSCU spokeswoman Melinda Voss said the Board of Trustees believes performance incentives are a key part of its philosophy of basing compensation on measurable achievement.
"Even though we are in tough economic times, we still need to be accountable," Voss said. "We still need to move the system forward, and performance pay helps us achieve that."
Last year, performance pay for top MnSCU staff sparked criticism on the heels of layoffs and a pay freeze in the system. Incentive pay for presidents and vice chancellors in 2009 totaled
"This is not the time to be paying bonuses -- when they're laying people off," said Minnesota Association of Professional Employees Executive Director Jim Monroe in a statement Friday. "Minnesota is reeling from the worst recession any of us have seen, and they have decided to give bonuses to these positions."
In June, the professional employees association called on MnSCU Chancellor James McCormick to return his $40,000 bonus, and Monroe again urged top staff in the system to pass up the incentives.
Eliot Seide, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, joined that call. The union represents more than 3,500 of the system's 10,000 employees, including nine of 41 staff members in the chancellor's office who were told they would lose their jobs next week, Monroe said. About 50 AFSCME members were laid off last year.
"The trustees are passing out bonuses with one hand, and they are handing out pink slips and tuition increases with the other," Seide said. "It's outrageous. It's unfair. It's immoral, and it should stop."
Seide pointed out that rank-and-file workers were instrumental in reaching the goals the MnSCU news release spelled out.
Mnscu Presidents: Their Salaries And Bonuses
Anoka-Ramsey Community College: Patrick Johns, $178,150, $12,750
Anoka Technical College, Anne Weyandt, $141,770, none
Century College: Larry Litecky, $182,388, $12,750
Dakota County Technical College: Ronald Thomas, $165,188, $12,750
Inver Hills Community College: Cheryl Frank, $174,600, $15,000
Saint Paul College: Donovan Schwichtenberg, $169,323, $12,750
Metropolitan State University: Sue Hammersmith, $225,000, $12,750
St. Cloud State University: Earl H. Potter III, $274,300, $12,750
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