State Capitol News
1:58 pm
Wed June 17, 2009

Top university earners could get salaries cut

Phoenix, AZ – Some 2,300 university employees could get a rude surprise in
their first paychecks next month.

The measure approved Tuesday by the Senate Appropriations
Committee would cut the salary of every state and university
worker who earns at least $100,000 a year by 5 percent, at least
for the coming year. Those making $200,000 or more would lose 10
percent.

Sen. Thayer Verschoor said the move is one way to deal
with the state's current budget crunch. And he said those earning
six figures should be willing to kick in something, given that
others are losing their jobs. Sen. Amanda Aguirre expressed
concern about universities losing some top professors who were
courted to come to Arizona. Verschoor acknowledged possible
fallout.

(You know, if my salary is being reduced and I have an
opportunity possibly to stay in the same field and do the same
work, I may look at that a little more seriously.)

But Verschoor said he also has heard from people who said they
took jobs in Arizona either because they believe in what they are
being given the opportunity to do or simply because they just
love living here. Not everyone would be affected. Among the
exceptions are coaches whose salaries do not come from tax
dollars. And those paid from federal grants also would not get
pinched. Verschoor figures if his measure becomes law it would
save the state more than $20 million this coming year.