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Sierra board has lost sight of realistic salaries

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The board of trustees at Sierra College continue to make poor decisions about salaries for faculty and staff. Most recently at their March 11, 2008 board meeting the Staffing Analysis for 2007/08 page 10 shows the board approved a salary for an administrative assistant in HR of $83,670 but only $80,000 for a faculty in chemistry and a faculty in biology! Why would the board of trustees value an administrative assistant more than a faculty in chemistry or biology? The reason the board of trustees has lost sight of realistic salaries is based on the very unique salary agreement the board of trustees has previously approved. The board approved giving approximately 80 percent of college revenue (primarily property tax) to the employee groups and allows them to decide how these funds are used. In effect, the employee groups determine salary rates and staffing levels. Both the college president and the board of trustees refer to these funds as belonging to the employee groups. This unrealistic salary agreement contributes to the financial problems the board of trustees is having and limits the board's ability to address its unfunded infrastructure repair needs. Trustee (Bill) Martin continues to urge another bond election as a solution. I urge the board of trustees to take back control of the college's current resources by renegotiating this unique, unrealistic salary agreement. The board needs to concentrate on how to effectively use current resources rather then just expecting mo' money. Lamont Royer Auburn