Drawing from Jeffrey Bergamini’s excellent salary data (http://ucpay.globl.org/), we find the following:
In 2006, there were 2,464 employees earning over $200,000 with a total gross pay of $680 million and a total base pay of $331 million. By 2008, we find 3,643 employees earning over $200,000 with a total gross pay of 1 billion and base pay of $640 million. This means that in 2 years, the UC added 1,200 employees to the over $200,000 club, and these increases cost over $300 million. Also, if you look at the difference between gross pay and base pay, you will see that a lot of these people will only have part of their salaries reduced by the furlough plan.
Looking up the salary scale, the story of the UC transferring wealth from the poorest employees to the wealthiest becomes clearer. In 2006, there were 609 employees making over $300,000 with a total gross pay of $240 million and a base pay of $87 million. Then, two years later, in 2008, there were 977 employees making over $300,000 with a total gross pay of $390 million and base pay of $195 million. Once again, this group of high earners increases by 30%, and if these increases were not made, we would have roughly all of the money that the furlough plan will save.
Now let’s look at some of the highest earners. In 2006, there were 190 individuals making over $400,00 with a total gross pay of 98 million and a total base pay of 28 million. Then, in 2008, there were 293 high earners making over $400,000 with a total gross pay of $160 million and total base pay of $67 million. Once again, the top group increases by about 30% and the increase in gross pay is almost doubled. We should remember that during this period, many of the lowest paid workers received no salary increases, and so the main story here is that the poorest workers subsidize the wealth of the richest employees.
Bob Samuels, UC-AFT