Thursday, 4:30 PM
Treasurer pulls plug on pension fund manager's pay proposal
(Globe file photo)
A pay proposal by state pension fund manager Michael Travaglini has caused a stir.
By Frank Phillips, Globe Staff
State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill has pulled the plug on a hefty performance-based pay package for the state's pension fund manager, blaming the reversal on Governor Deval L. Patrick for having "politicized" the controversial plan by publicly opposing it before a pension board vote was taken.
In his unusual rebuke of the governor, Cahill, who chairs the nine-member board that oversees the $50 billion public employee pension fund, accused Patrick of creating a politically volatile atmosphere that has made the discussion of the new salary structure too difficult.
The statement released by Governor Patrick was "an attempt to politicize the vote and has made it difficult to discuss this issue in a rational and thoughtful manner," Cahill said in a statement.
Patrick, who appoints two members to the nine-member pension board and has a seat that he can assign to a designee, voiced the only public opposition when the Globe reported today that Michael Travaglini, the executive director of the pension fund, could double his $322,000 a year salary to well over $600,000 if he reaches certain benchmarks.
Patrick said the proposal to raise the pay of Travaglini and other pension managers was "out of alignment with other public pensions officials who have similar duties." And he instructed his designee, Secretary of Administration and Finance Leslie Kirwan, to vote against the plan.
Patrick made his statement in response to a Globe inquiry. Other board members did not respond to requests and Cahill refused to state his position, claiming that it would not be proper to do so until the public meeting tomorrow when the vote was scheduled to take place.
Travaglini, who received a $40,000 raise a year and is among the highest paid public officials in Massachusetts, had distributed the compensation plan to the board this week. The proposal would have given Travaglini and other managers a minimum 20 percent hike and as much as a 100 percent if they met the benchmarks. He is the brother of Robert E. Travaglini, the former state senate president.