Davis Faculty Association

Archive for the ‘Compensation’ Category

Day of action being scheduled for April 15

The Davis Unit of the UC Student Worker’s Union — UAW 2865 — has asked us to alert you to an upcoming day of action to fight for a $15 minimum wage. It is occurring on April 15th.

More information about the event can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1017263978301349/

Buses will be provided to bring students to Sacramento or Berkeley and then back to Davis for free. People can sign up at the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cVCmd7o3QJzH78_ghOd4kkhU-pgUy6IcT4IkWADmYdE/viewform?c=0&w=1

Continuing deterioration of compensation and benefits

Dear Colleagues,

A year ago Colleen Lye and James Vernon, co-chairs of the Berkeley Faculty Association, drew the attention of faculty across the ten campuses of the University of California to the continuing degradation of their pensions, benefits and salaries.

Faculty were, they noted, still underpaid in relation to their peers at competitor institutions. Despite this salary gap they were being increasingly asked to pay more but get less from their health insurance and pensions. Moreover, the introduction of a new and less generous pension ‘tier’ for those hired after 2013, last year’s chaotic roll out of the new health plans with the prestige UC Care option working only on campuses with medical schools, and the cutting adrift of out of state retirees from all health plans with a good luck lump sum payment of $3,000, created new inequities between UC faculty.

This analysis has recently been confirmed by UCOP’s own study of total remuneration. The executive summary of this document contains the following depressing bullet points:

• Between 2009 and 2014, UC’s total remuneration fell from 2% below market to 10% below market.

• Health and welfare benefits fell from 6% above market in 2009 to 7% below market in 2014, primarily caused by higher medical employee contributions at higher salary bands compared to the market.

• Changes to retirement plan designs since 2009 reduced positioning against market from 29% above market to 2% below market.

• Total retirement decreased from 33% above market to 6% above market.

• Total benefits decreased from 18% above market to 1% below market.

It is the first UCOP study to compare the new (2103) and old (1976) tier benefits for UC faculty with equally depressing results.

• New tier retirement benefits (the defined benefit plan) are valued 16% below old tier retirement benefits.

• New tier retiree health benefits (medical, life, dental) are valued 23% below old tier retiree health benefits.

• New tier retirement benefits (defined benefit plan plus retiree health) are 17% lower than the old tier.

In short, we have moved to a new system where the old deferred benefits of our pension and healthcare helped offset lower salaries to one in which the cash compensation of salaries still lag behind our competitors and in addition benefits have now also been reduced to a point where they are below comparable institutions. In 2009 UC cash compensation by salary represented 68% of total remuneration, yet for assistant professors in 2014 it represents 86%.

The Faculty Associations believe that it will not be possible to retain and protect the quality of UC faculty if their salaries remain uncompetitive and the value of their deferred benefits continue to erode dangerously.

The Degradation of Faculty Welfare and Compensation

UC faculty need to wake up to the systematic degradation of their pay and benefits. In 2009, when the salary furlough temporarily cut faculty salaries between 6 and 10%, faculty were outraged. Yet since then our compensation has been hit by a more serious, and seemingly permanent, double blow.

First, despite modest salary rises of 3% and 2% in October 2011 and July 2013, faculty take-home pay has been effectively cut as employee contributions to pension and healthcare have escalated. Faculty now pay more for retirement and healthcare programs that offer less. Secondly, faculty are no longer treated equally. Different groups of faculty are increasingly pitted against each other as – depending on our age or where we live or when we were hired – we receive different levels of retirement, health and other benefits.

Faculty salaries were already uncompetitive. Even with the recently-announced 3% raise, they remain 10-15% below UC’s own comparator institutions and a further 10% behind those of the private 4 (Stanford, Yale, Harvard and MIT).

Back in 2009 strong benefits, in the form of pension and health care provisions, once allowed UC to excuse its uncompetitive salaries by reminding us of what it called our ‘total compensation package’.

This is no longer true. Now, as continued austerity management grips University administrators, and campaigns are launched to divest public sector workers of their pensions and retiree healthcare, faculty are being stripped of these deferred (and other) benefits.

One reason faculty are largely unaware of the degradation of their benefits is that changes have been made incrementally and target different constituencies. Gone are the days when all faculty and retirees were treated equally and received the same benefits. And yet for all faculty these changes mean we are paying more and getting less.

Firstly, faculty are divided by a new two-tier pension system. The old pension, the so-called 1976 tier, has seen a steady escalation of employee contributions from 0% in 2009 to 8% in 2014. These raises alone mean that faculty take-home pay has deteriorated by as much as 3%.

The new pension introduced for those hired since 2013 has begun with a 7% employee contribution. Despite paying more new faculty get less. The minimum retirement age has been raised from 50 to 55, the retirement age for maximum pension has been raised from 60 to 65, and the lump sum cash-out and subsidized survivor benefits have been eliminated.

Secondly, although there is as yet no legal evidence that retiree health benefits are less ‘vested’ (and thus unalterable except by legislation) than pensions, they have been progressively stripped. And here again different groups of faculty are treated differently.

Since 2010 UC’s contribution to retiree health benefits has fallen from 100% to 70%, but this pales in comparison to the changes introduced in 2013 which have affected 50% of faculty and staff. All new hires, together with those with fewer than 5 years of service, or those whose age plus service is fewer than 50 years, will now receive nothing from UC towards their healthcare if they retire before 55. Meanwhile contributions for those retiring after 56 will be on a sliding scale (depending on length of service) beginning at just 5%!

Worse still, in what is being considered a pilot program by the Regents, retirees no longer living in California have been removed from UC’s insurance plans. Instead they will be given a lump sum of $3,000 per annum to help defray costs not covered by Medicare. This represents a significant shift of the risk and the responsibility for healthcare from UC on to retirees. If it generates the projected $700 million savings of total liability as reported by UCOP’s CFO to the regents this year, it is likely soon to be coming to a group of retirees near you.

Thirdly, in the fall, the majority of faculty and staff were forced to change their healthcare plan in little over two months. We were promised that these had been negotiated to secure great savings for UC and lower insurance rates for all UC employees. It quickly became clear that those lower monthly rates masked a huge turnover in eligible providers, geographically uneven coverage of service (across as well as between campuses), and considerably higher deductibles. It is too soon to calculate how much more faculty are paying for their healthcare, but once again we are certainly paying more for less.

It is time for faculty to wise up to this systematic and universal downgrading of our salaries and benefits that also sets different groups of us on different tracks. The contrast with the new contracts recently signed by CNA, UPTE and ACSFME is worth noting. In addition to significantly improved salaries, these unions have been able to maintain a single-tier pension (for an additional 1% contribution) and retain retiree health benefits.

So how will faculty respond? With a sigh of resignation? A determination to get an outside offer that would increase one’s personal compensation package? Or will we seek better mechanisms that would permit faculty to negotiate all elements of our compensation rather than have it decreed, and diminished, from on high?

LAO report on UC faculty pay

The Legislative Analyst’s Office released a report today “University of California Faculty Recruiting and Retention.”

This report challenges UCOP’s findings that faculty compensation is lagging, finding instead that UC’s average salary (apx. $120,000 — excludes health sciences and law) is ahead of the four public schools in the comparison eight (apx. $110,000), but lags the four private schools in the comparison eight (apx. $160,000).

The one paragraph synopsis of the report is:

In this report, we assess UC’s ability to recruit and retain tenured and tenure-track faculty. We find that (1) UC has been hiring candidates who have received their highest degree from some of the most selective universities in the nation, (2) UC has a long history of hiring its top choice faculty candidates, (3) most new entry-level faculty stay at UC long enough to earn tenure, (4) less than 2 percent of faculty resign from UC each year, and (5) UC’s faculty compensation is competitive with other top universities. These findings indicate that UC generally has been successful in its faculty recruitment and retention efforts. In light of these findings, coupled with the continuing need to prioritize limited state funding, the Legislature will need to assess the relative trade-offs between providing funding for faculty salary increases and other competing budget priorities involving faculty and higher education more generally.

The full report is available at:

Notice of important changes proposed by UC in APM 668

The Faculty Association leaders would like to draw your attention to proposed APM 668, Negotiated Salary Program:

The origins of this proposed addition to that Academic Personnel Manual are in the Joint Senate-Administration Compensation Plan Steering Committee http://www.ucop.edu/acadpersonnel/documents/compplan_gottfredson.pdf June 2010. Proposed APM 668 is, to some extent, modeled on the Health Sciences Compensation Plan (HSCP).

The basic proposal is to allow the use of non-State funds to supplement faculty salaries. This would be done on an individual basis. I.e. each faculty member in “Good Standing” could apply to his or her department chair for a temporary supplemental salary to be paid from non-State funds. This proposal would be reviewed by the chair and the dean. The procedure for further review and the possible involvement of Senate academic personnel procedures is vague. Final approval authority would be with the EVC.

Although the materials surrounding the policy seem to envision a very close connection between external funds generated by the faculty member (e.g. research grants) and the possibility of receiving a negotiated supplement, the policy itself is written to be much more general than that. It appears that tuition funds could be used to fund the supplement.

Implementation of the plan would be fine grained. Chancellors may decide if and how to implement the plan on each campus. Implementation may vary by unit on a campus.

Of course there is much more to the policy than can be mentioned here. The policy and surrounding materials answer many questions. However there are many issues that are not addressed very well.

Adoption of APM 668 would be a major departure from University of California academic personnel practice and tradition and raises concerns of equity and transparency. The proposed policy is currently out for review with comments due by Nov. 18. The DFA will be providing comment and would encourage your feedback.

More UCRS information

If you missed Monday’s Post-Employment Benefits Forum, you can view the Powerpoint presentation, and also watch a webcast of the session.  Details from Sue Barnes:

Dear Colleague,

*Click here for the Powerpoint presentation

Links to a video recording of the 10am – 12pm presentation on the UC
Davis campus:

*Windows Media Player: *http://webcast.ucdavis.edu/HR/2010/Forum_04-19.asx

*Flash Video Player:

If you missed the forum in November, it would be helpful if you watch
that webcast or view the Powerpoint presentation first.

Click here for the November 9, 2009 PowerPoint presentation

Links to view the November 9, 2009 presentation:*Windows Media Player:*

*QuickTime Media Player:*

*Flash Video Player:*

The Task Force has been charged with developing options for balancing
the long-term costs of these benefits with the need to provide
competitive total compensation to faculty and staff. The Task Force will
study the issues, weigh input from the UC community, and then make
recommendations to UC President Mark Yudof on ways to change the funding
and policies for post-employment benefits.

To learn more about the mission and charge of the Task Force, visit the
Future of UC Retirement Benefits website


Sue Barnes
Program Manager,
UC Davis Retiree Center

AAUP’s Financial Crisis FAQs

Here is another quick read to help orient faculty to the current fiscal situation faced by UC faculty and faculty nationwide. This one is from the American Association of University Professors:


UCOP announces salary reduction plan

In case you have not received notice already of the UCOP plan for salary reductions, follow this link


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