California Academy of Sciences contemplates layoffs due to financial shortfall

As the Cal Academy faces a significant budget deficit, workers are concerned about potential job losses across all departments. The 350-member CalAcademy Workers United union, formed last year and still negotiating its first contract, has called on trustees to reject any budget that includes involuntary layoffs. They question the justification for job cuts when executive pay has been on the rise and new non-public-facing positions have been added.

The union points out that executive compensation has doubled as a percentage of the labor budget since 2007. Public tax records reveal high executive salaries at the academy, with bonuses reaching substantial amounts. Executive Director Scott Sampson, for example, received a $145,000 bonus on top of his already generous annual salary and housing allowance.

The union challenges the notion that cutting executive pay would not make a significant impact on overall budget savings. They argue that it is unfair to ask staff to bear the burden of cost-cutting measures when top leadership continues to receive substantial compensation. With the fiscal year ending soon, pressure is on to find solutions to close the gap in the $100 million budget.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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