October 1, 2015
Greetings and welcome to the second installment of EVCP Expresso! As you may recall from our first edition, I hope to use these quick monthly dispatches to tell you about many of the things going on here – not only the exciting and innovating initiatives that help define UCSF, but also the difficulties and challenges that have a significant impact on a cross-section of our academic community.
I named the newsletter Expresso because I want it to be an express communication – meaning a fast read that won’t take much of your time – in which I express the perspective of the EVCP office. Check out the topics. Go deeper if you like. And, if the list below doesn't speak to you, delete it!
Here's what I'd like to tell you about this month:
- Balancing the scale: Faculty salary inequity and gender disparity
- Getting from here to there: Intra-campus transit and North Bay commute options
- In a pinch: Back-up child and elder care – little known resources
I hope you find Expresso informative. I'd love to hear your ideas for future topics. Please share your feedback with me at [email protected].
Balancing the scale: Faculty salary inequity and gender disparity
It's a simple fact: women typically earn less money than men for doing the same work. It's been that way for ages and is prevalent in all sectors, but I've been pleased to see that the University of California is determined to do its part to correct that imbalance among its faculty and took an important first step in 2012 by charging each campus with evaluating faculty salaries. In January of this year, a faculty salary equity review committee led by Vice Provost of Academic Affairs Brian Alldredge reported that women receive three percent lower salaries than their male counterparts within the UCSF faculty.
I, and all of us in the leadership, find this deeply troubling. It goes against the very ideals that we espouse. We need to correct this problem.
Each of the four schools at UCSF – Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy – has studied the salaries of its own faculty and is reporting the findings to Brian's committee. Each school will propose action plans on how to correct any imbalance they identify.
Salaries at a place like UCSF are complicated, and it's especially challenging to find an apples-to-apples comparison. In the initial report, for instance, the committee focused primarily on what are known as the X and Y salaries that faculty receive – X being the base salary and Y being the negotiated salary on top of that. The committee also studied any possible imbalance between minorities and others, and it found no apparent inequities.
They also looked at salary from clinical incentives known as Z. While there was no difference in presence or absence of Z, the Z-payments to women were 29% lower than those to men. Interpreting this finding is complex – is there truly equal opportunity among men and women to avail themselves of clinical incentives? Do women choose to do less clinical work that would result in a Z-payment? The Schools are evaluating this difference, and it is my expectation that they use their findings to ensure equal opportunity to participate in work that generates a Z-payment and that Z-payment amounts are determined as objectively and formulaically as possible to remove the influence of any unintentional bias.
A guiding principle here is to ensure that our faculty receive equal pay for equal work. This obviously does not mean everyone will receive the same rate of pay – a neurosurgeon, for instance, will typically receive a much higher salary than a general practitioner. But male and female neurosurgeons should be paid the same, and primary care doctors should be paid the same, all other things being equal.
Importantly, individual schools, or departments, or divisions may find their salaries are in balance. Thus, not every woman faculty member should expect a three percent or higher raise, although that will happen for some. We are now at the beginning of the next phase of the analysis.
Our goal is to have adjustments made by early 2016. The good news is that it will be retroactive to July 1, 2015. I am really glad we are addressing this issue seriously by collecting the relevant data, identifying the disparities, and taking corrective action. The rationale for this effort is simple: it’s the right thing to do.
Getting from here to there: Intra-campus transit and North Bay commute options
In trying to find that balance between your work and home life, there's the time you spend on the job, and then there's the time you spend getting to and from and around your worksite. In recent years, as UCSF has expanded its presence across San Francisco, I have definitely found myself, like so many others, spending more time "on the road." Since becoming EVCP, I've discovered there are teams in Transportation Services and the UCSF Police Department (UCSFPD) who are truly dedicated to the goal of easing people's intra-campus connections and commutes. I've highlighted some of their efforts below.
Improved Shuttle Service & Safety:
- Whenever possible, Transportation Services sends overflow shuttles and drivers to provide extra service on routes with the highest demand. To provide an example, the RED Shuttle (Mission Bay to/from 16th Street BART) now has overflow service during morning and evening hours. I recently learned we have 1,200 more RED shuttle riders each month compared to the same months last year, so I'm thankful that Transportation Services is making resource adjustments.
- UCSFPD is working with BART and the city to improve safety at the 16th Street BART station (RED shuttle stop). UCSFPD has already beefed up its campus police presence during peak hours to help riders feel more comfortable. BART has agreed to conduct periodic foot patrols during the same time, and the SFPD Mission Station has two assigned officers between 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., as well as a motor officer to direct traffic.
- Although we know that the RED shuttle to the 16th Street BART is preferred, Transportation Services was successful in working with MUNI and the city, and MUNI added a new route – the 55 line – to supplement UCSF's service. Please keep this option in mind.
- "Shuttle Ambassadors" in yellow vests are at the most popular stops during high-demand times – to answer questions or explain what alternatives you might have. If a GREY shuttle is full, for instance, you might not realize the BLUE or GOLD shuttles also get you to Parnassus. (BTW – I was completely surprised to learn that UCSF shuttles transport 2.5 million passengers a year on twenty routes).
- There are several apps and websites that display UCSF shuttle routes, enable you to plan your trips and even track the GPS on shuttles so you know exactly when they'll arrive. I find these to be extremely easy to use and helpful!
New Alternatives to Getting Around:
- The folks at Transportation Services told me that we are poised to ink a partnership with Scoot, whose red electric scooters are popping up all over town. We'll have a pod of scooters at Mission Bay and Parnassus as a start to a pilot program that works the same as a bike share. The ETA is mid-November 2015, and apparently for pennies on the dollar we'll be able to move from campus-to-campus or within the city with more ease – just return to the nearest Scoot pod. (And being a neurologist, I am compelled to beseech you to please wear your helmet properly and be careful navigating SF streets!).
- While the opening of the new hospital at Mission Bay was very exciting, it added a lot of commute time for some, in particular Marin residents whose jobs moved from Parnassus to Mission Bay. A piece of good news – Transportation Services has expanded its vanpool program through vRide. With only six people needed to start a vanpool to/from Marin (it used to be twelve), many Mission Bay/Marin commuters are signing up and finding the option affordable and convenient. If you're interested in vRide to/from Mission Bay/Marin (or other locations), please complete this survey.
In a pinch: Back-up child and elder care – little known resources
Are you raising a family, caring for an elderly parent, or both? If you are, you know the stress and frustration caused when your caregiver falls through for a day, if your department calls a meeting on short notice at a time when you're usually at home, or if your dependent gets sick on a day you have an important work-related commitment. You may not know, however, that UCSF offers programs that could help ease those dilemmas. (I wasn't aware of these until recently).
- Bright Horizons Back-Up Care Advantage: UCSF contributes funds each year to offset costs for Bright Horizons to administer their Back-up Care Advantage Program. The program includes a network of centers across the Bay Area that you can utilize in an urgent situation as well as a pool of trained caregivers who can come to your home. Although program participation requires an annual enrollment fee and co-pays, it will cost you much less than if UCSF did not provide an offset and if you tried to patch something together on your own. Being able to call a 1-800 number and get back-up care, either in a center or in your home, by providers certified and checked, can be invaluable to one's peace of mind. And, Bright Horizons takes care of the arrangements involved in identifying a solution. Program costs are available on the program's website. The deadline for enrollment in the back-up care program has been extended until October 31, 2015. Suzie Kirrane, Manager of UCSF's Family Services Department, told me that we have made significant improvements to the program since its inception, thanks to the UCSF families who participated in this program over the past three years as part of a pilot. She also tells me that while 95% of care requests were filled over the past 12-month period, there are circumstances where the desired service is not available. UCSF will continue to work together with Bright Horizons to optimize continuing program performance.
- Sittercity and Years Ahead. UC benefits-eligible employees have their membership fees covered by UC in two other services: Sittercity and Years Ahead. Sittercity offers all kinds of in-home help – sitters, tutors, housekeepers, pet sitters – in an Angie's List-style system, in which pre-screened providers advertise their availability. Years Ahead is focused on adult care and has tools for assessing your needs. They are easily searchable by zip code, cost, special needs and other criteria, and include Yelp-style reviews. While you need to pay the service provider, the University sponsors your $140 annual membership fee (for both programs).
These programs alone won't solve the huge challenges of managing responsibilities at home and at work, but Suzie and her team are keen to try and help where they can. Here's the way she puts it: "The faculty at UCSF really expect a lot of themselves, and these are support services that can make day-to-day life a little easier and less stressful."
The Committee on Family Services is also working to develop a parents' network similar to the Berkeley Parents Network or the Golden Gate Mothers Group, for UCSF parent-to-parent referrals in a closed UCSF-only forum. Suzie told me that her team is actively gathering input on the potential demand for such a program and what the design might be.
You can learn more about these and other programs at My Family at UCSF, which offers a comprehensive guide to resources and policies helping our employees and students find child, youth, and older adult services. The portal is a collaborative effort between the UCSF Committee on Family Services, the UCSF Committee on The Status of Women, and UCSF Family Services.
Dan’s Tip of the Month
I can't resist recommending what is on my short list of greatest movies ever: Searching for Sugar Man. Watch this documentary and you will learn about Sixto Rodriguez, the singer/song-writer/urban poet/extraordinary soul from Detroit that almost no one has heard of (at least here in the United States). Hailed as the "must-see" documentary from 2012, I can virtually guarantee that the film will knock your socks off. Download it from iTunes. The rental fee is $3.99.