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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Alternative Pension Politics

Despite UCOP's efforts to limit the discussion of Pension reform to PEB's Options A & B they have been unable to prevent alternative approaches from emerging.  The Senate Members of the task force argued forcefully in a Dissent  that neither of the administration's preferred options would maintain staff and faculty quality (an argument developed further by Bob Anderson).  Faculty and staff groups have moved ahead with alternative approaches.  AFT, AFSCME, UPTE, and CNA in consultation with the Council of UC Faculty Associations have endorsed a set of principles to guide reform of the pension system.  These principles have also been endorsed by the Executive Board of the UCLA Faculty Association.  The Berkeley Faculty Association while acting in solidarity with the unions and other faculty associations has also argued for an Option D.  You can see their rationale for their approach  here and here.  We have offered an analysis of the implications of the PEB task force recommendations as well.  You can get additional information here. James Chalfant and Helen Henry have responded directly to the administration's defense of Options A &B here and pointed out that Options A& B would make UC uncompetitive for faculty and staff in an op-ed. Slide presentations from the recent UCLA Town Hall on PEB are also available.


President Yudof is pushing to make a recommendation on this issue by the middle of November with a decision at the December Regents meeting.  To some extent this timetable may be being driven by gubernatorial politics.  But that should not prevent a thoughtful and thorough university-wide discussion of the problem.  The issues and the alternatives are before the Academic Senate at this moment.  It is time for the Senate and its leaders to stand up and make clear that they will not simply rubber stamp efforts to short circuit debate and cut pensions without fully considering the implications of all alternatives.  Please make certain that both the Senate and UCOP hear from you on this issue.  President Yudof can be contacted at president(at)ucop.edu; Daniel Simmons, Chair of the Academic Senate can be contacted at daniel.simmons(at)ucop.edu; you can leave comments for the Task Force on Retirement Benefits on their site or contact your local Senate Leadership.

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