UC releases annual systemwide employee payroll report for 2019

Infographic showing UC Berkeley's top ten highest paid staff in 2019
Nada Lamie /Staff

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With a commitment to transparency and public accountability, the UC system released its employee payroll report for the 2019 calendar year Friday.

According to a summary of employee compensation, the report covers pay data for UC career and faculty employees, as well as for part-time, temporary and student employees. With total gross earnings of $1.3 billion and total benefits of $264 million, UC Berkeley places sixth in wage distribution among all 10 UC campuses. 

“It’s a question of how much is the University of California really investing in its teaching mission,” said University Council-American Federation of Teachers, or UC-AFT, President Mia McIver. “We see investing in teaching faculty as a way of investing in education and as a way of investing in students.”

McIver noted that median lecturer compensation has decreased compared to the last couple of years. She added that this decrease is “distressing,” as lecturers have been bargaining to raise compensation levels for the past 14 months.

Although UC-AFT previously negotiated for a 6% pay increase for lecturers who have taught for nine quarters or six semesters, the average lecturer teaches for fewer than two years due to job instability and is unable to receive the raise, according to McIver.

At the top of the payment spectrum, the highest-paid employees included athletic coaches and health science faculty members systemwide. Based on gross pay, the highest-paid UC Berkeley employees in 2019 were football head coach Justin Wilcox, men’s basketball head coach Mark Fox and former men’s basketball head coach Wyking Jones. 

Alex Vermie, research analyst for Teamsters Local 2010 — a union that represents UC skilled trades workers — noted the continued growth in compensation for the UC system’s highest-paid managers compared to its underpaid support staff.

“Our members are among the lowest paid employees at UC and have had to fight for every raise and struggle to pay for basic necessities,” Vermie said in an email. “Our members are now being laid off during this crisis while UC has yet to take meaningful action to make cuts to those being paid the most in the system.”

According to Vermie, these numbers are important when holding UC leadership accountable for decisions that have “reinforced” pay disparities across the UC system. Many Teamsters 2010 members have had to take second jobs, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Vermie said.

Job stability and pay equality for low-paid staff continue to be important issues of concern that demand action, according to both UC-AFT and Teamsters 2010

“We really love this university. We love our students and we love our work and we want it to be the best it can be,” McIver said. “It’s beyond time for the university to make a real commitment to education.”

Contact Zoe Chen at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @zoe_chen820.