14,000 UPTE-CWA Workers Unite Against UC Pension Cuts
By Doug Cunningham
[Chant]: “No contract, no peace! No contract, no peace!”
Fourteen thousand UPTE-CWA members negotiating a new labor with the University of California say the university is attacking their pensions Jelger Kalmijn is President of UPTE-CWA.
[Jelger Kalmijn]: “They are trying to undermine our defined benefit plan by having all new employees opt out of it and just receive a retirement savings plan. In essence, they’re having Wall Street steal about half the pension savings for those new employees, because it will be put into a savings plan that yields about half the result (of defined pensions) once you retire.”
UPTE-CWA considers that effort to just arbitrarily implement the pensions change to be bad faith bargaining. Kalmijn says his members do important research and this battle with the University of California system is about much more than just pensions and benefits for these university workers.
[Jelger Kalmijn]: “It’s not only about a dollar for me or a pension for me. This is about really the framework of public service and how we’re gonna be able to provide public service for our citizens – in our case in California.
You want to find a cures for cancer? You’ve got to keep cancer researchers employed. You’ve gotta provide the conditions under which they could actually stay and afford to live where they work. That’s what this is about.”