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CSU Puts Salaries, Hiring in Deep Freeze
The perilous state of the California budget has had a rippling effect on institutions and employees for months now. The California State University has been no exception, and now its officials have announced that things are about to get even chillier on their 23 campuses with the arrival of a salary and hiring freeze aimed at controlling costs. Those affected by the freeze, according to the Daily News are "senior administrators, including campus presidents and the chancellor," with the additional implementation of "a hiring freeze on all but essential positions, canceled purchases of equipment and supplies and restricted employee travel."
Fortunately educators are not on this list, but the impact of the budget has affected teachers and students in the CSU for some time now, from increased class sizes to enrollment caps to lack of adequate resources and halting construction, all of which have dire long-term consequences and stem from Governor Schwarzenegger's propsed $66.3 million in budget reductions for the current school year. A press release issued by the CSU's Chancellor, Charles Reed, explains:
We have also been forced to suspend and shut down state-funded design and construction projects on all of our campuses in response to the state’s freezing of $600 million in general-obligation and lease revenue bonds used to finance these projects. Unfortunately, hundreds of projects will be affected including libraries, performing arts centers, classrooms, administration buildings, seismic upgrades, laboratories and more.
So now what? According to Reed:
[The CSU's] focus in the coming months will continue to be maintaining jobs and preserving access and quality for students. I encourage our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and labor unions to work together to tell our elected officials as well as our local business, community and civic leaders, that the CSU is the economic powerhouse that provides the highly skilled professionals to the industries that make California successful, and that higher education is a long-term investment that benefits everyone.
Maybe we should start with Governor Schwarzenegger; it has become increasingly apparent that to him, education at all levels in California is not a priority.