Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Jul 23rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

In the Void

blog_slugUC workers gather to show distrust and disapproval of recently proposed UC pension plan changesIn another example of protest against the financial decisions made by UC Regents, on Thursday, Oct. 14, UC workers converged at UC Santa Cruz to express their disapproval of new retirement budget proposals by symbolically “voiding” them.

The discrepancy between proposed benefits for UC officials and low-wage workers prompted the demonstration, which occurred in Kerr Hall, one of UC Santa Cruz’s administrative centers. Several weeks ago, a panel of UC officials appointed by UC President Mark Yudof released a set of pension reform proposals that would restructure employee retirement benefits. If these proposals are enacted, the retirement benefits received by UC officials would remain intact or increase, while pensions for employees in the service sector (custodians, shuttle drivers, and food service workers, for example) could be decreased by more than 50 percent.

The proposals incited indignation among workers, who already receive a fraction of the benefits enjoyed by UC executives. Yolanda Lopez, a senior custodian at UCSC, expressed her concerns about the proposals in the press release for the demonstration. “I am barely going to survive on the $1,500 per month plus social security that I will receive under the current pension plan,” she said. “I don’t know how a family would pay rent, let alone pay for other necessities on less than half that.”

To express their discontent, the gathered workers marked a large check as “void.” In addition to voicing grievances about these pending pension cuts, they discussed recently announced changes to UC employee healthcare that could require workers to pay 50 percent more for health coverage.

This demonstration is not the first recent display of apprehension and disappointment with UC officials’ decisions. 2010 has been a year of UC-wide protests and demonstrations over fee increases and cutbacks. The legitimacy of official decisions has also come under question; an eight part investigative article by Peter Byrne shines a light on executives’ ties with the corporate world and suggests that there are many “conflicts of interests” that cloud the ethics of their decision-making.

The maintenance of executive pension plans at the expense of workers’ plans added more fuel to the fire for the demonstration. “Retirement funds should be used to make sure that dedicated service providers are able to retire with dignity and without public assistance,” according to Julian Posadas, UC Food Service Worker and Vice President of AFSCME Local 3299, in the press release. “It is clear that we need to properly fund retirement benefits and cut exorbitant and excessive retirement perks for executives.”


To read Byrne’s investigative reports, visit: spot.us/stories/544-the-investors-club-how-the-university-of-california-regents-spin-public-money-into-private-profit

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

Over the years I’ve mentioned the nine tests of Mars and Scorpio. The tests are given to everyone—unawakened, beginning to awaken, and the awakened. The purpose is to test our strength, courage, ability to adapt, discriminate and have discernment. To see if we are deceived by illusion or are “warriors triumphant, emerging from the battle.”

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Roger That

The late film critic Robert Ebert profiled in lively doc, ‘Life Itself’

 

The Maestra Returns

Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Time is Ripe

Local fruit harvests hit markets, Storrs Winery celebrates ‘Best White’, and a salt fix from heaven

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.