Union rips executives on salaries Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Tyler B. Reed 508-626-4423 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- Union officials yesterday slammed the chief executives of Bay State social services agencies for banking huge pay raises while low-level workers earn a pittance and the agencies themselves go underfunded.

The executives' pay jumped by 20 percent in the last four years while direct care workers earn only about $20,000 a year, according to data collected by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 509 of Massachusetts.

"We've got a limited amount of money coming from the state," SEIU spokesman Barry Ingber said.  "A handful of greedy executives..are making a grab for it."

The SEIU ripped Framingham-based Advocates Inc. CEO William Taylor for taking a 46 percent salary boost in the last four years.  His pay jumped from about $140,000 in fiscal 2002 to $205,000 last year.

"Direct care salaries are abominably shameful and they need to be addressed," Taylor said in an interview last night.  "I agree with what SEIU is trying to point out."

Taylor pointed to an Advocates policy that all employees be paid at or above the industry average.  Day support employees at Advocates make $27,800 on average, he said.

To give all Advocates employees 10 percent raises would cost $2.7 million, Taylor said.

"It's a much bigger problem that just eliminating the CEOs," he said.  "My staff certainly don't get paid for the work they do day in and day out."

Advocates has doubled in size in the last four years, and Taylor said his pay reflects the workload.  He has worked for Advocates for 25 years.  The Board of Directors sets his salary.

The SEIU data also shows South Middlesex Opportunity Council Executive Director James Cuddy's salary went from $173,000 to $205,000 in the last four years.  The salary of Eric Masi, CEO of the Wayside Youth and Family Support Network, increased by 6 percent -- from $141,000 to $150,000.

The SEIU gathered the data on executives salaries from financial statements human services agencies must file with the state, researcher Nykole Roche said.

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