Saturday, April 17, 2021

April in Arkansas

 It's winter here again -- a frost warning for tomorrow night. (I am worried about my tomato plants.)

Mind you, I am enjoying the unseasonably cool weather. Usually by this time we are hard into summer and I am spending $$$ on air conditioning. Yesterday I had to put on the heat.

We filed our taxes. Only owed the state $58 dollars, and might get something back from the Feds -- which is better than a few years ago, when we owed them money.

Meanwhile our Biden buck finally arrived. I am saving them up against this summer, when I have no classes and also the new system used by the university is apparently going to fuck up my pay. 

They "can't" do a 12-month pay schedule anymore. So either I'm not getting paid this summer at all, or I'm getting 3 paychecks in June and then nothing until a half-check in August. Then next year, it's a 9-month pay schedule, though apparently they're going to set up some scheme by which we can "opt" to save 25% of each paycheck, and then...get all of that in June?

Also they'll be taking our part of the health insurance costs out in 9 lumps into of in 12 lumps.

Theoretically, it will be the same amount of money, just distributed weirdly. I am waiting to see what happens de facto. And hoarding cash, just in case.


nicoleandmaggie said...

I get paid 9 months-- it was kind of a relief after getting only paid 2x/year many years in graduate school. (Managing two people including student loans and no savings on 36K/year when rent is 18K... non-trivial.)

The way I have dealt with it is to figure out how much I'm going to need for the summer and save up every month more than what I think I will need until I hit that point plus some over. I used to also put off getting reimbursements and credit card rewards etc. until summer and I would prepay big summer expenses if I could, like life insurance or daycamp, when I was still getting income. (This isn't a problem anymore because we have savings etc., but early on when our income was lower and our expenses higher I had to be really careful so we didn't run out of money in September since we didn't get paid until October. August and September were often pretty lean. I still try to prepay the summer camp stuff.)

Our summer health insurance/benefits/parking/etc. is all taken out of the last check, so I try my hardest to just pretend that May check (paid June 1) isn't coming because it is smaller than all the previous checks.

That's crazy that they're no longer letting you prorate over 12 months. I think we had some weird changes recently too for people who were doing the 12 month option, but I never signed up for 12 months when it became an option so I didn't pay that much attention. (Is this a Trump tax law thing?)

delagar said...

It's because the university-wide system, called Banner, which used to manage everything from registration to paychecks has become obsolete. So the UA system is switching to something called Workday, and Workday (so they claim) won't allow people on 9 month contracts to be have their pay divided into 12 installments.

This seems really unlikely to me -- given that people on 12 month contracts within the system exist -- but as I know almost nothing about these program, I can't really mount an argument.

I think I'll follow your figure it out and save that much plan.

Twice a year, by the way! Yikes! Even when I was in graduate school, I got paid monthly. Not in the summer, but at the time I had plenty of money saved up -- almost $20,000 in 1990 money, which meant I could make it through the summers if I was careful. Of course, all that exploded when I got cancer. :(

nicoleandmaggie said...

I cannot express to you how much I HATE workday. It's almost as bad as concur. OMG, the hatred. Basically, it doesn't cover any of the processes that were bad-- those are still old and bad, and it makes worse processes that were fine before. So much hate. It is an awful clunky program.

It looks like they now do the three paychecks at the beginning of summer option for people who want to prorate.

What's worse is my two paychecks were in September and January(!) What I did was get a short term-cd in January (interest rates were high back then, so we actually gained some money doing that, in addition to locking it away so we didn't starve in August.)

nicoleandmaggie said...


Athena Andreadis said...

If U of A has tenured/tenure-track faculty who do research they have to pay them 12 months (especially if they get federal grants). This sounds like a nasty system that they haven't bothered to fine-tune.

delagar said...

Athena -- That is my suspicion also. I *know* the faculty up the hill at UA are getting paid on a 12 month schedule. I suspect there's some real reason we're not being given that option. No idea what it could be.

Jenny F Scientist said...

....we have workday and still get paid over 23 months for 9 month salaries... so they're just lying to you. Or incompetent. Or both!

Jenny F Scientist said...

12 months that is. 12 checks. Like normal.

delagar said...

Oh, I think it's both.