In the midst of budget cuts, tuition increases and classified layoffs, the Yuba Community College District granted salary raises to classified supervisors, educational supervisors and administrators during the December 2003 and February 2004 Board meetings.
In December 2003 the Board of Trustees granted superintendent/President Nicki Harrington an annual salary of $156,598 to be effective January 1, 2004. According to page K-20 of the YCCD 2003-04 Final Budget, President Harrington was earning an annual salary of $140,785 before the Board decision. This meant she had earned a $15,813 raise, nine months after the same Board of Trustees had lain off 37.17 full-time equivalent classified employees.
On December 31, 2003, an Appeal Democrat opinion commentary listed several local issues that “weighed heavily on the minds of Yuba-Sutter residents” and noted Harrington’s pay raise as one of them. The commentary stated, “While the local governments and schools reeled from the fiscal hardships imposed by the state’s money crisis, the YCCD demonstrated astounding indifference to the crisis by awarding Nicki Harrington, Superintendent/President of the YCCD, a whopping pay boost.”
Undeterred by the bad press, the Trustees, at the February 2004 Board meeting, implemented a Compensation Study that effectively granted pay raises to three Classified Supervisors, six Educational Supervisors and eight YCCD Administrators. No information could be found on how the adopted Compensation Study affected the salaries of Angela Fairchild, the Woodland Executive Dean who was approved for hire in November 2003, and Evelia Genera, the Woodland Associate Dean, a newly created administrative position, approved for hire in December 2003.
Of Administrators, President Harrington received the highest pay raise, making up almost 15 percent of the total amount allocated in pay raises by the Board between last December and this February. The raise to Harrington is $4,521 higher than the collective pay raises for all classified supervisors. Harrington’s raise is also $5,343 higher than that of any other administrator, including Alan Lowe, Vice President of Instruction. Lowe received the second highest pay raise, at $10,470 more annually than he had been earning previously, according to a comparison of page K-20 of the YCCD 2003-04 Final Budget and the new Yuba College Management Association pay schedule as included in item 6-C of the February Board Agenda.
Paul Mendoza, Vice President of Student Services, and Mike Dencavage, Vice President of Business Services, received the next highest of the pay raises, with each earning $8,202 more than they had during the previous year.
During the April 2004 board meeting, the Trustees confirmed the resignation of Dencavage and approved an agreement with BHC Associates Inc. for the services of Robert Wickstrom, as an interim. Wickstrom will be compensated at an amount not to exceed, $151,976 during the period between April 19, 2004 and June 30, 2005. If he is compensated the total amount, Wickstrom will receive $32,831 more than Dencavage’s annual salary, including his February pay raise.
Six of the eleven Educational Supervisors received raises, with the highest going to Marisela Arce, Associate Dean of Financial Aid and EOPS, and Jay Drury, Dean of Language Arts and Fine Arts, both receiving raises of $6,972 more per year. However, the implemented Compensation Study approved by the Board in February did not result in a pay raise going to the highest paid Educational Supervisor, David Farrell, Dean of Student Development, who earns $104,056 annually.
Three of the eleven Classified Supervisors received pay raises this year, equaling a combined total of $11,292 in total annual salary increases.
These raises come soon after a time of financial hardship, which forced the YCCD Board of Trustees to make several spending cuts within the past year. On February 26, 2003, the Board felt that YCCD was in such financial distress that it was imperative to discontinue particular kinds of academic services. This would have eliminated the drafting, information technology and manufacturing technology programs at Yuba College and would have resulted in the layoffs of 17 full-time equivalent instructors.
While the Board decided to repeal that decision on March 7, 2003, it continued to cut 37.17 full-time equivalent classified employees.The cumulative amount committed in total pay raises during both the December 2003 and February 2004 Board Meetings comes to $108,176 annually. The raises going to administration equaled $57,264-making up almost 53 percent of the total annual amount. The sum of raises to educational supervisors comes to $39,620-making up almost 37 percent. The sum of raises to classified supervisors comes to $11,292-equaling10 percent of the total annual amount.