Friday, July 24, 2015

Understanding the UC $15 minimum wage

Blog readers who looked at yesterday's postings will know that it was announced by UC prez Napolitano at the Regents meeting that the pay of the lowest-paid UC employees would be raised to $15. But here is an interesting question: Where did that $15 figure - which seems arbitrary - come from? Well, yours truly thinks he has an answer. You see, there was also another decision taken at the Regents:* (excerpt from the LA Times)

A day after UC moved to raise the minimum wages of its lowest-paid workers, the university’s governing board on Thursday awarded 3% salary increases to 15 of its most highly paid executives... The new pay scale for... five chancellors are: $772,500 for UC San Francisco’s Samuel Hawgood; $516,446 for UC Berkeley’s Nicholas Dirks; $441,334 for UCLA’s Gene Block; $436,120 for UC San Diego’s Pradeep Khosla; and $424,360 for UC Davis’ Linda Katehi...

If you know what the five chancellorial new salaries will be, you can calculate what 3% of their old salaries was in dollar terms. It turns out that the chancellorial raises average about $15,000 per year. So now figure a low-wage UC employee works half time for fifty weeks a year, i.e., 1,000 hours. If you paid him/her for that time what the chancellors average for a raise, that's $15/hour. So a chancellorial raise = the full pay of a low-wage worker. Makes perfect sense. Puzzle resolved!

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