California State University employees can expect to see full paychecks during the state budget stalemate, despite the governor’s recommendation to cut back pay to $6.55 an hour.
Because California’s new budget is already 31 days past its deadline, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order Thursday in an attempt to free up state money until legislators can reach an agreement. The order eliminated 22,000 jobs and reduced 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage.
The CSU is not under direct authority of the executive order.
CSU employees will maintain regular pay through leftover money in the support budget, which is state money from the 2007-08 school year. When that money runs dry, the CSU will pay employees from a secondary source until the new budget is passed.
“We’re obviously not going to be able to get funding from the budget, so we turn to our other source of funding, which is student fees,” said Teresa Ruiz, public affairs communications specialist for the CSU.
For the 2007-08 school year, each student in the CSU paid $2,772 in student fees, according to the CSU budget office Web site.
“This is not a situation of raising student fees,” Ruiz said, noting that the payments will come from money the CSU already has.
Ruiz said a similar budget problem arose in California in 1993 and in that situation, the CSU maintained employee wages as well.
California State Controller John Chiang indicated in a retaliatory letter to the governor Thursday that he will defy the order and that he does not intend to cut jobs or wages.
He said in the letter that he has “no intention of complying” with the executive order and he encourages the governor to “work with the Legislature on passing a budget.”
In addition to the CSU, the governor also suggested that the University of California and the California Community College cut back on wages.
UC president Mark Yudof indicated in a statement this week that he would try to ensure that salaries stay at their current level for UC employees.
“We haven’t began to look at alternate sources of money,” Nicole Savickas, a spokesperson for University of California Office of the President, said Wednesday before the order was signed.
Ron Owens, a spokesperson for the California Community College said the only employees from his agency directly affected by the executive order are the 170 state workers at the community college transfers office.
“The governor signed the order, the state controller counteracted it. We really don’t know what’s going to happen,” Owens said. “It’s not a good time to be employed in the state of California.”
The 72 community college districts in California will not be impacted by the order because they are employed by their individual districts, not the state, Owens said.