24 December 2011

Social Security Deduction

It would seem that the University was not prepared for the extension of the Social Security tax cut just approved by Congress. As a result, January paychecks will reflect the old, higher payroll tax rate of 6.2% instead of the 4.2% that's been in place throughout 2011. The extra amount withheld will appear instead on the next paycheck, on Feb 1 for most employees.

So our Jan 1 paychecks will be 2% lower than our Dec 1 paychecks. Happy 2012 to all!

01 December 2011

Backroom Deals

This past Monday, after hearing the plight of students for never-ending tuition hikes and their outrage at the trampling of their constitutional rights at Berkeley, Davis and elsewhere, the Regents of the University of California promptly reconvened to a separate, smaller room for the non-public portion of their meeting, where they provided yet another resplendent  example of their vision, leadership, and courage in steering the UC ship in these stormy waters.

Once outside of public scrutiny, the Regents promptly proceeded to approve 9.9% pay raises for three vice-chancellors (UCLA, UCI, UCSF) as well as for a number of university lawyers. But the lottery winner was indisputably UC Davis general counsel Steven Drown who got a whopping 21.9% salary raise (only UCDMC chief operating officer got a bigger raise, but medical center employees' salaries benefit from the revenue the bring to the University). Mr Drown was noted during the recent "events" at UC Davis for his very visible absence while the students' first amendment rights were being covered in orange pepper spray.

In the meantime, it looks like a section of UC Davis faculty, mostly from the sciences and engineering, have launched Operation SCA ("Save the Chancellor's Ass"). One is reminded of not too distant proceedings at Irvine, when Chancellor Drake hired, fired, and re-hired Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinski, all in the same week. UCI science and medical faculty also rose en masse to save Drake's ass, quite possibly in return for Drake's saving their asses when the Medical School was selling body parts and fertilized human eggs on the black market.