We Must Have A Say In Our Pension Fund

27 Jul

Would you put your money in a bank account where you could not choose when or under what conditions to withdraw, how to invest or even how much you had to put in it? Of course not, but that is exactly the conditions of our University of California pension fund.

UPTE-CWA insists that we have a say in our pension plan. Legislators in Sacramento agree and are concerned that the state makes contributions to the UC pension fund there will not be adequate accountability without employee participation in governance.

Where do decisions about our pension plan get made?

The decisions about how much we contribute, when we can retire, what the formula is for calculating our pension benefit are made at the bargaining table. In the past, we gave the Regents the unilateral power to change these benefits. We no longer trust the Regents to act in our best interest. The current TX/RX contract (link to contract: http://www.upte.org/contract-rx/benefits.pdf) and HX contract we will negotiate will restrict any changes to our pension to those described in the contract. Our members will vote on all changes as part of the contract ratification.

The decisions about how our money is invested and managed are effectively made by the Investment Advisory Group of the Regents. This committee has the responsibility to decide about who manages our funds and how much they charge. This committee reviews the conflict of interest between Regents and UC administrators with the investments made.

We need complete transparency and accountability. We want to know how much money there is. We want to know how it is invested. We want to ensure that our pension savings our invested responsibly and in a manner consistent with our principles.

This committee has no employee representatives on it. Together with other UC unions we have demanded substantive participating on this committee.

Our pressure has forced UC President Yufof to agree to place one employee representative on the Investment Advisory Group. Token representation on a board that decides how to invest our more than $40 billion pension fund will not suffice. We need a meaningful and effective voice.

Over the next year we will work with other UC unions to use political pressure in Sacramento and member pressure in our workplace to achieve our goal to have real say in our pension plan.

What can you do?
(1) Sign up for our political action campaign so we have adequate funds to make sure legislators friendly to our interests get elected.
(2) Get involved in our legislative committee by contacting our Rodney Orr, our legislative director at (805) 455-2813 or legislative@upte-cwa.org

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