Proposed '95-'96 Budget Includes 5 Percent Pay Raise

by Fernando Quintero

The UC Regents' proposed 1995-96 budget calls for a 7.9 percent increase in state funds to "stabilize" UC's finances and maintain student fees at current levels.

It would also provide enough money to raise faculty and staff salaries by 5 percent.

Estimates on whether UC will receive sufficient state funding for its budget proposal "is that it is too close to call," said UC Provost Water Massey at the Regents' Oct. 20 meeting in San Francisco.

"The good news is that state revenues are somewhat above budget, expenditures are within budget, and the state economy is doing better," said Massey.

"The bad news concerns a shortfall in anticipated federal funds the state expected to receive."

If the state's fiscal difficulties continue, Massey said it may be necessary to continue looking to student fee increases as one way to help fund the budget, with a commitment to increase financial aid as well.

Key objectives of the draft UC budget include:

o Funds to hire 120 new faculty to stabilize the student-faculty ratio at 18.7 to 1.

o No more budget cuts beyond the $433 million already taken over the last five years.

o Restoring faculty salaries to competitive levels.

Faculty salaries currently lag 9 percent behind the market. A 5 percent raise for faculty in addition to funding for merit increases would narrow the gap to 7 percent.

Staff would also receive a 5 percent cost of living allowance (COLA).

The proposed raises for both faculty and staff would be effective Oct. 1, 1995.

Massey said the 1995-96 budget continues the "stability plan" presented last year and that met with general approval from the UC Board of Regents, the governor, and the Legislature.

"We have limited our budget request to only the most essential needs because we are fully aware of the state's fiscal problems," said UC President Jack Peltason.

"We are not asking for restoration of past losses or for improvements. And we are continuing to do everything we can to help solve our budget problems ourselves by becoming more efficient," he said.

The 1995-96 budget for capital improvements is similar to last year's proposed budget, which was not funded in part due to the failure of Proposition 1C, a general-obligation bond measure that was defeated along with all other bond measures in the June election.

Funding requests for most of the projects that were approved last year but not funded have been resubmitted, with emphasis on seismic upgrading of existing buildings.

The regents' budget will be voted on at the board's November board meeting. It will then be forwarded to the governor, who in turn announces a proposed budget for 1995-96 in January.

For the time being, Peltason commended staff and faculty for coping with adversity and keeping UC "a great institution."

Chancellor Tien emphasized that the institution's excellence is also attributable to the high quality of students, which attracts top faculty.

"We need to reassure students and their parents that UC is the place to come for a quality education, and we need to reassure our faculty and staff that UC is a good place to build a career," said Peltason.

"We cannot continue to count on loyalty and good will without further evidence that our downward spiral has finally been arrested and the climb back has begun in earnest," he said.


Copyright 1994, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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