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Got the Monday blues? Start your week off right with a helping of useful information and informed opinion. 

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For the Week of August 16, 2010

UC employees are still waiting for management’s overdue report on pension changes, promised any day now. UC’s appointed “post-employment benefits task force” is considering a range of cost-shifting measures, including raising the retirement age, reducing benefits and offering a different plan to some employees in lieu of the long-standing “defined benefit plan” (UCRS), which guarantees a lifetime pension.

While you’re waiting on their report, take a look at the UCLA Faculty Association’s recent column about some of the crucial differences between different types of retirement plans. The Faculty Association also points out that UC is already preparing retirees for cuts to their medical benefits, in their latest retiree newsletter.

UC budget critic Charles Schwartz also published a new analysis this week about UC’s mismanagement of the pension fund.

UC’s 6,000 post-docs have ratified their first union contract, with 96% voting yes. No mystery why: the agreement provides many new protections, plus pay increases of 1.5-3% for all post-docs each year for the next five years. The workers organized with Postdoctoral Researchers Organize/United Auto Workers, and you can read about their new contract online.

Journalist Peter Byrne has just published another installment of his investigation into conflict of interest issues and the UC regents. This one is about Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is married to UC regent Richard Blum.

UCB law professor John Yoo, who helped craft legal theories defending waterboarding and other torture techniques, is drawing protests on the first day of classes later this week, as anti-war activists demand his resignation.

The Monday Memo is edited collectively by a group of UC administrative professionals who are working for union representation with UPTE-CWA. We publish most Mondays, unless it is a university holiday, or we just need a mental health day off. We welcome your submissions, either credited or anonymous, at Please feel free to forward this memo to your colleagues. Anyone may subscribe to the Monday Memo.

If you are a UC administrative professional and haven’t asked your coworkers to sign a commitment card for the union, please do so today. All administrative professionals are also welcome to become members of UPTE, with all the associated rights and benefits.