Big salaries not worth the work

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Administration defends budgetary policies.”
March 31, 2009

To the editor:
Western is in dire straits. We are not receiving enough money after the market slump and with the figure of 76 per cent of Western’s expenses being staffing, it definitely does make sense to cut staff.

What you may not have seen is the list of Western staff who make over $100,000 a year. I saw that on Tuesday and I was shocked. Most people check out their favourite professors and marvel at what they are making, however, I agree with what most professors make. They are the backbone to our university. They teach the classes that we all pay for, while bringing in grants and funding for their research. All this makes Western a more desirable place to do research and go to school. What does really irk me is when most of the directors or heads of departments are making over $130,000 a year. Did Western ever think that our costs are so high because we pay these people too much?

If we take the VP of Resources and Operations 2008 Salary of $240,670.42 and divide that by the average office salary " a University of Western Ontario Staff Association salary Grade 10 of $37,049 " you get 6.5. The question then should be does the VP really do the job of 6.5 people?

I do believe that people should be paid for their experience and expertise, but we do have to look at the overall picture of what a person is worth. The VP cannot possibly do the work of 6.5 people, so why are we paying her so much? Has it become that this is the salary that we need [to offer] to keep people with expertise at Western, or is it the truth that we are over-paying a lot of people and now students are going to have to suffer because of this?

In an effort to help cut staffing costs, the VPs and other highly paid administrators have decided to help out this year. They will not be facing lay-offs like other staff at Western, but in an effort to help out have decided to not take their raises for this year only. Unfortunately the rest of Western’s staff will not get that same option as they now face the possibility of lay-offs and the reality of doing the job of two people because of the current hiring freeze. So the next time you are upset because you are waiting in a huge line in an understaffed office think of all of the VPs who are suffering financially because they didn’t get their raise this year.
Western staff

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