Smith, Tanya

Tanya Smith is president of the Local 1, UPTE-CWA 9119 (University Technical and Professional Employees at UC Berkeley and UC Office of the President).

Proposed UC Regent Pension Deal is Bad for Workers

By Tanya Smith
University Technical and Professional Employees at UC Berkeley

The press has seen a flurry of letters to the editor and opinion pieces lamenting the fact that public employees have pensions. As unionists representing public employees at the University of California, we argue that all workers, not just those in the public sector, should retire with dignity, with enough income from their pensions to keep them fed, sheltered, and clothed. The current University of California Retirement System is about to be dismantled by the UC Regents. They propose to change it Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, so that the lower paid employees will no longer be assured of modest pension income when they retire after decades of service.

Instead of working with unions and the public to find ways to maintain a healthy retirement system, the regents are shredding the post employment benefits for the lower paid employers.