Unions unhappy with bonuses paid to MnSCU officials

Union officials aren't happy with bonuses paid out to top officials in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities systems.

MnSCU recently paid out more than $370,000 to its 32 college presidents. The performance pay ranges from $8,000 to $15,000.

Eliote Seide with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees says bonuses shouldn't be paid out while budget cuts have forced MnSCU to raise tuition and lay off workers.

"This is outrageous. It's simply outrageous. It's remarkable that anyone would tolerate this in these times," Seide said.

MnSCU officials say since college presidents' base salaries have been frozen, this is the best way to reward them for good performance in tough times.

"We're proud of what the presidents have accomplished especially in these difficult economic conditions," said MnSCU spokeswoman Linda Kohl. "Like other state employees the base salaries of our presidents have been frozen for the last two years."

A $40,000 bonus for chancellor James McCormick touched off a protest by union workers this summer outside MnSCU headquarters in St. Paul.

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