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July 6, 1995



To the editor:

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your editorial response to my letter of shame shame shame (June 8, 1995, University Times) has proven my point of the media not providing the public with all information instead of a one-sided view.

Did you investigate what the term "staff" means to most people? No. It does not include administrators, directors, provosts, or the chancellor in the minds of most people. We can skew the statistics drastically by adding such big bucks people to the stats using the way Human Resources identifies staff. Did you define exactly who, in plain English, is counted in the statistics you quoted from Human Resources? No.

In case I'm off-base here, let me know because my phone rang off the hook with people saying "Bravo!" the day after the Times hit the "streets" and I even got a call from the spouse of a lady who works at Pitt! All of us are looking at our paychecks and we need a serious sense of humor considering the amount of money we're being short-changed — since You wrote that the "average" salary of staff at Pitt is $25,000.

Hey boss — where's the rest of the "loot" because it sure isn't in This paycheck and sure wasn't in any of the others either???? It is a Shame that the "average" janitorial staff at Pitt makes more money than the "average" non-administrative staff member who's been at the University longer than five years! Of course, they have a Union.

Hey, you made an attempt though. You started to give us a breakdown of a legislator's starting salary of $47,000. You forgot to compare apples with apples though.

Using your figures, if a typical legislator "works" about 200 days a year, $109 a day x 200 days = $21,800 For Traveling Back & Forth To Work. Do they also get a car from the taxpayers? You also forgot to mention the $12,000 in Un-Vouchered expenses they get, as mentioned in the Post-Gazette (this was a cute way to get around voting themselves a pay raise). By the way, in case you are not counting, we're already at a figure of $81,000 a year and we're not done yet. You also make no mention of the PAC money they get (and that is some serious Big Bucks), nor the Walking Around Money they get. And we cannot forget those $100 a plate dinners and contributions (unless you don't count that because it really isn't their own money — ask Ernie, he got caught). Didn't you ever wonder Why someone in their right mind would spend over a million dollars to get a $47,000 a year job? Come on. . . .

You also don't give us a dollar figure for those Carte Blanche medical benefits the legislators get. Their benefit package tops what the steel mills did back in the '70s. The only people that come close in those type of benefits are welfare recipients and We're paying for Both of them in our taxes! Silly us.

I didn't see any expose articles about the legislators wanting to give themselves another $20,000 in salary. Why? Are they "off-limits"? Let's do some serious investigative reporting that Benefits the University and the Pittsburgh community instead of sniping at people who point out the truth or another side of a story.

It's sad that typical responses call people who question the status quo "unhappy," (most) "disgruntled," or some other term that is Not taught at Katz, a school of world renown. Must be Pittsburgh-ese. Actually, I think that this country was founded by a bunch of these "disgruntled" type individuals.

Bob Arlia

Alumnus, Employee, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, and Newly appointed Staff Association Council member


Nordenberg is the right choice

To the editor:

As an alumnus of the law school, I would like to express my enjoyment at the appointment of Mark Nordenberg as the interim chancellor of the University. He was the dean of the law school when I was a student. At all times he was the epitome of class, in his role as an educator and as an individual in his dealings with students, faculty and alumni. I am not alone in my opinion that no better person could have been chosen to lead the University at this important crossroads.

I believe that his tenure as interim chancellor will prove to the University students, alumni, the Board of Trustees and the search committee that he is the leader the University needs for the 21st century.

Elliott I. Levenson

School of Law

Class of 1988 and College of General Studies Class of 1984

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