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CT Higher Education President Suspends Pay Raises For Staffers

Robert Kennedy is freezing $250,000 in questionable pay raises to his employees, including one $48,000 raise Kennedy gave to one of his high-ranking executives.

 

The president of the state’s higher education system has suspended large pay raises he gave to some of his top staffers and has apologized for them.

Robert A. Kennedy’s decision to suspend the $250,000 in raises to his staffers – including $48,000 he gave to one executive – came following a rising tide of questions and criticism about the salary hikes and after a meeting Wednesday with top aides to Gov. Dannel Malloy, according to a report on ctmirror.org.

Kennedy, the president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, gave the board’s executive vice president, Michael Meotti, a $48,000 raise on June 29.  Meotti this week agreed to forgo the raise and has returned  $12,000 of it, the Hartford Courant reports.

Questions about the propriety of the pay raises to 21 staffers in the higher education offices arose this past week. On Oct. 10, Kennedy held a press conference to announce he was suspending the raises. The move came after Malloy’s aides met with Kennedy and told him the governor was unhappy with the salary hikes and how they were handled. Others have questioned the legality of the raises because they were granted without the approval of the Board of Regents, the Courant reports.

During Wednesday’s press conference Kennedy acknowledged the pay raises might appear politically insensitive during a time of economic distress in Connecticut, but said he believes they were justified because of added duties the 21 staffers have taken on following a reorganization of the department this year.

Edward Fast Lazarus October 12, 2012 at 05:41 PM
I worked for the State of CT for two years at one of the State University Colleges., albeit quite some time back (1977-1979). All my other higher educational experience have been at private institutions over a period of about 30 years. The disparity in pay and redundant staffing at the State level was, even in 1979, shocking. I am guessing it is minimally similar, more likely worse in 2012 (see above article) More than once I would lose staff members from the University I worked at to the State University system. Losing a staff member for a better opportunity is acceptable and frankly encouraged. However, more than once I had staff say to me I have now achieved my dream, work for the State, more than double may pay, receive benefits unlike any private institution can afford and not be expected to work unending hours. My retirement job at 35. This article is not shocking nor surprising. I have many great friends who are wonderful people and outstanding at their craft who work for the State. This is not to in anyway disparage them. If this is the environment we wish to create, great. Personally I would like to see more equity particularly as it relates to State employees health care benefits which is best described as not a Cadillac plan but perhaps a Rolls Royce. It just feels unjust and frankly out of touch with the balance of the State and the private sector. Edward F. Lazarus

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