I have enjoyed the last two years as your Chair of CUCEA. It has been a very busy time representing the interests of Emeriti on the UC Faculty Welfare Committee and UC Retirement Program Advisory Committee and serving as Team Leader on the Retiree Health Work Team, a part of the Post-Employment Benefits Task Force, and as a member of the Steering Committee. The Task Force will be sending recommendations to the President for changes in the pension system and in retiree health in July. It is anticipated that the recommendations will be discussed at the Regents meetings in September and November. President Yudof will decide when to release the Task Force report to the Public, possibly in August.
There are some bright spots in the current negotiations in the University’s state budget. The governor has proposed a $305 million restoration of funding that was cut from the Universities 2009-10 budget, $51 million for enrollment support, $325 million in bond funding for campus buildings. Assembly Speaker John Perez has proposed full funding of Cal Grants. Funding has also been proposed for retiree health. So far the Assembly and Senate budget committees are supportive of the proposals. Negotiations are also underway to modify the statutory language that stated that the legislature would no longer fund the UC Pension Program. A lot of credit must go the a very active program to make members of the legislature aware of the value of the University of California’s teaching, research, outreach programs. However, as you know, it is not over until it is over. You can play a part in the advocacy program and urge your representatives to make higher education a priority in the 2010-11 state budget. Information about how to do so can be found at UCforCA.org.
It is a pleasure to turn over the leadership of CUCEA to Colin Bloor, Chair and Erni Newbrun. Vice Chair.
With best regards,
Charles E. Hess
Professor & Dean Emeritus
University of California - Davis