Governor's pay cuts could affect colleges


It's a worst case scenario that would affect state workers on several levels. In order to save $1 billion during this budget stand still, Governor Schwarzenegger is considering slashing workers' salaries, to $6.55 an hour.

"The governor has asked all state agencies of course to do what we can to help as we move toward resolution of the budget," said Pat Harris from San Jose State University.

That means California State Universities and U.C.'s could share in this burden. While the governor doesn't have executive authority over the schools, his plan suggests cutting temporary workers and teaching assistants.

"We already cut staff to the bone and now the cuts are going to have to come to the temp faculty and we're going to have to lose courses again," said Russell Kilday-Hicks, the California State University Employees' Union.

C.S.U. employee union rep, Kilday-Hicks insists, if the governor's money saving move goes forward it'll be students who suffer the most. They could lose part time lecturers and the classes they lead.

"It would make me want to change my major being how long it would take to actually get into that course," said Bianca Smith, a San Jose State Student.

At San Jose State, the chancellor sent a message to 5,700 employees Thursday night letting them know their jobs are not in jeopardy.

"Our chancellor and president is assuring all of our employees that we will continue to pay the salary they've been promised," said Harris.

The C.S.U's can draw funds from student fees and tuition, for the time being.

However for Senator Leland Yee (D), from San Francisco and San Mateo, the long term ramifications of the governor's proposal are what he worries about most.

"You can imagine how demoralizing they feel when they go and teach, when they feel this way you can imagine the quality of their instruction will deteriorate," said Senator Yee.

While Yee suggests raising taxes, some professors told their union rep the best long term solution might simply be to leave the state.

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