Who wins, who loses with UC’s employee pension contributions?
At their meeting on September 16, UC’s governing Board of Regents voted to increase employee contributions to the pension plan (UCRS) from the current 2% to 3.5% in 2011 and 5.0% in 2012. “We haven’t had the guts in leadership to move on this” before, said one regent. Not content with imposing pay cuts and pension cutbacks (that as this analysis by AFSCME 3299 shows, hit lowest-paid workers the hardest), the regents showed further gutsiness by approving $3.1 million in bonuses for 37 UC hospital executives, including giving UCLA’s hospital director a raise of $410,000, to $1.3 million total earnings. Three obviously gutless regents voted against the raises, including Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, who told the Los Angeles Times that they were “unseemly” at a time of cutbacks at UC.
Faculty and staff say regents’ plan is “very harmful” to UC
The full extent of the regents’ proposals is not yet apparent. The increases in pension contributions have received the most publicity but they represent only one of several dire recommendations. The full set of recommendations are available in the UCOP post employment benefits task force’s executive summary, and include recommendations of a second tier of pensions for new hires, instituting a defined contribution plan for medical center employees, reducing the amount that the University pays for retiree health care, and changing eligibility requirements for retiree health coverage. The faculty and staff members of the task force issued a strong dissenting report, which calls the cuts “very harmful” and “completely unacceptable.”
The Regents will most likely vote on changes at their November or December meeting. Want to stay informed? Consider subscribing to UPTE’s Monday Memo, a brief, once-a-week bulletin that links to essential documents and debates.
Are pay raises coming?
The planned increases in pension contributions come after successive years without any pay increases for employees without a union contract. Without matching pay increases, the increased pension contributions represent pay cuts. The current budget rumors call for increased funding to the University of California (at the expense of K-12 education). But will increased UC funding result in pay increases to those without union protection? What do you think? Vote here for your prediction about whether the 2010-2011 budget will end up with pay increases for employees without a union contract.
Want guaranteed pay raises?
The only way to guarantee pay increases and protect our pensions is with a union contract. Period. If you support a union for administrative professional employees, please sign UPTE’s commitment card. If you want more information about UPTE – or to set up a meeting in your work area – please contact us.