Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of October 27, 2014

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The issue of UC retiree health benefits is back in the spotlight, as UPTE’s represented units begin bargaining to strengthen the rights of newer hires, according to the just-released UPTE Update. The issue includes “frequently asked questions” about retiree health benefits, which make up a substantial part of UC employees’ overall compensation.

The university will launch its 2015 open enrollment this Thursday, October 30. Not surprisingly, premiums are going up -- in many cases, way up -- $25 per month or more. While UC claims that a recent survey shows employees are satisfied with their medical plan choices, a closer look at the actual survey reveals vast disparities in satisfaction between plans and among campuses.

After years of justifying higher enrollments of out-of-state and foreign students to boost revenue, UC is reportedly having second thoughts, after complaints from legislators and parents, according to the online journal Governing.

Remember the good old days when under the state’s Master Plan for Higher Education, California provided virtually free higher education for UC, CSU and Community College students? How much would it cost to make every public two- and four- year college in the US tuition-free for all students?  “Much less than you think,” according to this piece from Strike Debt. strikedebt

The 5 UC medical centers are preparing to treat Ebola patients, should it become necessary, the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday. Unions representing health care workers at UC – such as UPTE-CWA and the California Nurses Association (CNA) – will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure worker health and safety. National Nurses United (of which the CNA is a part) has been active in the national effort to protect frontline health care workers.   

Next Tuesday, November 4 is election day nationwide for a wide range of issues and candidates. Check out UPTE’s election recommendations as well as the California Federation of Labor’s endorsements, and get out there and vote! 

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