On behalf of the 35,000 members of United University Professions, I want to express concern over the State University of New York Board of Trustees' decision to boost the salaries of three top SUNY administrators.
It is unconscionable to dole out raises as high as 13.6 percent when SUNY has notified a dozen of our members at SUNY headquarters that they'll be retrenched next year.
In addition, 221 other headquarters employees are being furloughed and more SUNY faculty and staff throughout the state face possible retrenchment. Further, we are aware of numerous non-renewals of employees throughout the system.
The SUNY chancellor says the three managers have taken on increased responsibilities as the result of cost savings and deserve the increases.
But many others within SUNY, including thousands of UUP members, have assumed additional work because of budget cuts. They're not getting an extra dime. Also consider that each of these three administrators already was earning an average salary of $250,000.
SUNY students are closed out of classes they need to graduate because campuses are compensating for two years of budget cuts totaling $562 million.
We hear much about "The Power of SUNY," the university's strategic plan, but should SUNY's power be used to line the pockets of three well-heeled administrators? I don't think so.
PHILLIP H. SMITH
The writer is president of United University Professions, the union representing faculty and professional staff at SUNY's 29 state-operated campuses.