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UC System Ups Retirement Age

University of California employees will work longer before retiring – and pay more for health care when they do. The changes were approved by the UC Board of Regents Monday.

UC President Mark Yudof said the system faces a $21 billion shortfall in its retiree pension and health care programs, along with uncertainties due to the state’s budget problems.

“My first obligation is to be a realist,” Yudof said. “The budget must be balanced. The payroll must be met. The faculty needs to be hired, the students enrolled and services provided to them, pensions made secure and the bills paid.”

The Board voted to increase the minimum retirement age from 50 to 55 for most workers hired after July 2013. The age for maximum pension benefits would be 65. Retirees would also pay a greater share of health care premiums.

The UC system must negotiate the changes with its labor unions. Some unions argue the later retirement age is unfair to workers with physically demanding jobs.

Comments

Avatar for user 'jam2009'

jam2009 | December 15, 2010 at 8:40 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

What the Regents fail to convey to the general public is that typical UC workers are paid below market value for their work. Healthcare workers, administrative staff, and especially research and technicial employees are paid far less than their non-UC counterparts at private companies such as Merck. They are also under constant threat to take reduced hours or suffer lay-offs. While this may sound familiar in today's economy, this has gone on for years. In addition, while UC Regents call for raises in student fees and reduction in pay and benefits for general employees, they recently voted themselves bonuses and raises which would satisfy what they call a "shortfall" in funding. Go to www.upte.org/about/press/2009-07-23.pdf or google for more information on this atrocity. One example alone is:
Susan Moore, Interim Chief Financial Officer, UCSF Medical Center received a $58,625 “administrative stipend” to increase salary from $234,500 to $293,125. Stipend awarded even though no additional administrative duties were specified. Additionally, Moore is eligible for a bonus of up to $58,625 and will be awarded a 5% retirement contribution to the Senior Management Supplemental Benefit program."
Her stipend alone is more than my annual salary after 25 years with a university that promised that our low salaries and long hours in the lab working with pathogens and carcinogens would be made up for in our retirement packages.
And as for President Yudof, "In addition to a base salary of $591,084, Yudof will also receive an auto allowance, moving reimbursement, and a mansion in Kensington, which is currently undergoing millions of dollars worth of renovations.
These are the salaries worth looking at.

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Avatar for user 'Transparency'

Transparency | December 15, 2010 at 5:39 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Uping the retirement age by itself will not by itself solve UC 's financial mess. Gould and his Board of Regents and President Yudof need to dig down and identify incompetent Chancellors. The signs of University of California Berkeley’s relative decline are clear. In 2004, for example, the London-based Times Higher Education ranked UC Berkeley the second leading research university in the world, just behind Harvard; in 2009 that ranking had tumbled to 39th place. Incompetence reigns under Chancellor Birgeneau, Provost Breslauer, Vice-Chancellor Yeary
University of California Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s eight-year fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving him every dollar he has asked for, and the state legislators do share some responsibility for the financial crisis. But not in the sense he means.
A competent chancellor would have been on top of identifying inefficiencies in the system and then crafting a plan to fix them. Competent oversight by the Board of Regents and the legislature would have required him to provide data on problems and on what steps he was taking to solve them. Instead, every year Birgeneau would request a budget increase, the regents would agree to it, and the legislature would provide. The hard questions were avoided by all concerned, and the problems just piled up to $150 million of inefficiencies….until there was no money left.
It’s not that Birgeneau was unaware that there were, in fact, waste and inefficiencies in the system. Faculty and staff have raised issues with senior management, but when they failed to see relevant action taken, they stopped. Finally, Birgeneau engaged some expensive ($3 million) consultants, Bain & Company, to tell him what he should have been able to find out from the bright, engaged people in his own organization.
In short, there is plenty of blame to go around. But you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. An opportunity now exists for the UC president, Board of Regents, and California legislators to jolt UC Berkeley back to life, applying some simple check-and-balance management principles. Increasing the budget is not enough; transforming senior management is necessary. The faculty, Academic Senate, Cal. Alumni, financial donors, benefactors await the transformation. The senior management operates author, who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture and the way senior management work.

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