On Sept. 24, the University of California Office of the President released its 2018 payroll data for the UC’s 227,700 employees systemwide, totaling a payroll of $16 million across the campuses, a 5.5% increase compared to the 2017 data. 

Evelyn Spence / Daily Nexus

The top takeaways from the data can be seen below:

  • UC Santa Barbara’s payroll totalled $526,270,378, the majority of which went to healthcare staff, service employees, professors and lecturers. 
  • At UCSB, the average employee wage was $29,815, a number drawn from over 17,000 employee salaries at the university. Among the top 10 earners at UCSB, the average pay was $464,425.10.
  • Of all the UCs, Santa Barbara ranked seventh in the amount of money spent on employee wages, only underspent by UC Riverside, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz. “As in previous years, the top 10 earning employees at UC in 2018 (based on total pay) were athletic coaches or health sciences faculty members, typically world-renowned specialists in their fields,” the report stated. 
  • Employees earning $200,000 or more represent 3.5% of all employees systemwide.
  • In 2018, Joe Pasternack was the highest paid coach at UCSB, earning $403,967, but he was the 15th most highly paid employee at the school, according to the payroll data. In that same year, the top five earners at UC Berkeley were all coaches, with Justin Wilcox taking the number one spot with $3,003,362, almost twice the pay of the number one earner at UCSB.
  • The highest paid employee at UCSB in 2018 was Finn Kydland, an economics professor who won the Nobel Prize in 2004. His gross pay was $531,872 and he also received the highest gross pay in 2017, according to the payroll data.
  • Over the past five years, average pay has slowly increased across all UCs, but in 2018, spending on employee retirement and healthcare decreased by $17,049,277 over the past two years, according to the California State Controller’s website.
  • UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang was the eighth-most highly paid employee at UCSB, with a salary of $427,130 in 2018. 
  • The average compensation for UC chancellors is $546,000, whereas for similar public universities, the average pay for chancellors is $870,000, and private university compensation surpasses both, with an average pay of $1,489,000, according to UCOP’s Executive Compensation for Research University Chancellor’s Report.
  • While the UC system’s health staff only makes up 24.4% of the total payroll, almost half of all full-time UC employees are health staff, according to the University of California Report on 2018 Employee Pay.

Despite average wage increases, Academic Researchers United (ARU), a union representing researchers and other academic positions, is currently in the midst of contract negotiation with the UC. The ARU wants higher pay and other benefits such as increased job security, which might take form as longer appointments and paid parental leave, according to UAW Local 5810 Vice President Neal Sweeney.

“When you consider wages and cost of living, there is a significant wage gap between UC Academic Researchers and researchers in equivalent positions at other universities,” said Sweeney in an email. “It’s in the best interest of UC research to remedy that inequality so we can make ends meet and create long-term careers at UC.”

UCOP will next meet with ARU on Oct. 10 and 11, according to UCOP spokesperson Stett Holbrook.

The unabridged list of employee payroll information can be found on the UCOP website.

A version of this article appeared on page 5 of the Oct. 10, 2019 print edition of the Daily Nexus.