Trustees fail to notify senate of pay cuts

Christianne Rojo

The Associated Student Senate voiced displeasure with a top school official Friday, for failing to notify them about an estimated 20-cent pay cut in student salaries.

Joe Sullivan, vice president of Business Services, spoke on the Board of Trustees behalf, and was put on the hot seat while defending the schools position.

“The budget situation happened at a time when staff and faculty were not on campus,” said Sullivan. “The decision needed to be implemented by a certain time.”

The decision, a direct result of California’s $41.6 billion budget deficit, will see student workers take a 1.923 percent cut in pay, starting Feb. 11.

In his defense, Sullivan explained that the decision took place in a closed session meeting, and that the Senate wouldn’t have a say in the matter regardless of the outcome.

“This wasn’t a decision that was made lightly,” noted Sullivan. “It was one that management and the board thought was necessary.”

Atsiylah Garfinkel, Commissioner of Clubs and Organizations, explained the choice to not include the student senate in this decision was a violation of California’s Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 51023.7.

“Title 5 is the state and federal document that gives student senators the authority to be involved,” said Garfinkel.

Title 5, Section 51023.7 addresses shared governance. This includes the student senate’s participation in events that directly affect students, such as grading policies, processes for instituting budgets, and student fees.

“I’m surprised that I didn’t receive any emails,” said Student Senate Trustee Sean Knotts. “We just wish we would have been consulted.”

For the record: Joe Sullivan, vice president of Business Services told the student senate that the decision to cut student pay was discussed in closed session. On Feb. 5, Sullivan contacted The Channels, to admit that he had misspoken. “The discussion on the salary decrease of 1.923% for hourly and student employees was discussed in open session at the Board of Trustees’ Study Session on January 8, not in closed session as I stated,” Sullivan said.