UH execs hope to lead by example with pay cuts


POSTED: Saturday, July 25, 2009

University of Hawaii President David McClain won't say whether the 6 percent to 10 percent pay cut for UH executives announced yesterday is an indication of what will be sought for faculty pay during contract negotiations.

But faculty members said yesterday it would be unfair for them to take a higher percentage cut.

“;The faculty under no circumstances should be cut more,”; said Klaus Keil, co-chairman of the All Campus Council of Faculty Senate Chairs.

“;In a way it's welcome that they (executives) are willing to help,”; said Harry Davis, the other All Campus Council co-chairman, “;but they make significantly more than the rest of us.”;

In an e-mail posted on the UH Web site, McClain said he is recommending to the Board of Regents that the salaries of top UH executives be reduced by 6 percent to 10 percent, depending on the position and last year's performance evaluations.

The cuts would save about $2 million a year, but the university is facing a budget shortfall of $155 million. McClain said he hoped contract negotiations would produce between $35 million and $53 million in savings over two years.

McClain said the executive pay cuts “;fulfills my commitment that our executives will play a leadership role in addressing the fiscal challenges the university faces.”;

McClain, who is leaving office at the end of this month, will take a 10 percent salary reduction for July. He makes $414,000 a year.

Incoming UH President M.R.C. Greenwood will also take a 10 percent salary reduction on Sept. 1, when all the cuts will take effect. Before the cut, her salary is $475,000 a year.





        210: The number of other UH executives, making between $68,000 and $505,000, taking pay cuts. The cuts would save about $2 million a year.

6%-9%: The amount of cuts based on last year's performance evaluation.





        Budget cuts for this fiscal year at the University of Hawaii campuses:




        » Manoa: $48.8

» Hilo: $6.4


» West Oahu: $1.2


» Community colleges: $14.1


» UH system: $5.5




;[Preview]    University of Hawaii pay cuts

The reductions are part of $155 million in UH budget cuts over the next two years.

Watch ]


In addition to the 10 percent pay cut this month, McClain said he will not be paid the $372,600 president's salary when he goes on a yearlong sabbatical next month, as his contract entitles him to. Instead, McClain said, he will rejoin the faculty at a $250,000 annual salary and will take the same percentage pay cut as other faculty union members. In addition, McClain said, he will donate the difference in his salary between any negotiated faculty union pay cut and a 10 percent salary cut to the UH Foundation.

McClain said he hopes that the salary reductions for executives will encourage progress in the ongoing negotiations between the state and the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly and other public-worker unions.

Last week, Gov. Linda Lingle announced that 42 executive branch officials would take a 13 percent cut in pay through salary cuts and furloughs. But the governor's executive order does not affect UH, which reports to the Board of Regents.

The regents will take up McClain's pay cut proposal at next month's meeting.

McClain said he is hoping to avoid layoffs at UH. But he said Hawaii Government Employees Association members at UH could be “;bumped”; and lose their jobs, if layoffs proposed by the governor occur. HGEA members losing their positions in state agencies could “;bump”; or take the jobs of UH employees in the same bargaining units with lesser security.

Cheryl Ernst, UH director of creative services, said her expected executive pay cut will mean tightening her budget at home, especially since she has a child in college.

But she said she and her staff would rather see pay cuts or furloughs than to have someone lose their job.

“;The feeling I get from the entire staff is everybody needs to do their part,”; Ernst said.