Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Mar 03rd
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

 

Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Teresa’s Gourmet Foods

New owners for Santa Cruz’s leading local salsa company

 

What defines a good dive bar?

It’s slightly dirty, and they serve cheap drinks. Stella Celeste, Santa Cruz, Barrista

 

Picchetti Winery

After enjoying its contents, I couldn’t throw away the empty bottle of Picchetti Winery’s Red Table Wine.

 

Happy Birthday, Manny

Manuel’s turns 50, farmers market steel head pairs with Pinot, and a Birichino Malvasia