We're particularly chagrined at finally getting around to announcing a ballot initiative to reform the governance of the UC pension plan, especially since we've taken a certain interest in this over the years. Last week, state legislative leaders and UC employee unions formally kick-started a drive to place on the ballot a proposal to give unions a seat on the board that oversees the pension plan, which up to now has been exclusively occupied by members of the UC Regents.
The announcement coincides with the Regents' plan to force university employees to contribute to the pension plan for the first time since 1990. For years, the pension fund had done so well in the stock market that neither the university nor employees needed to contribute to the plan. But following a controversial shakeup in the plan's management in 2000, the fund began to steadily earn less and less money, until now it can no longer pay for itself. UC spokesperson told the Daily Californian that recent troubles in the stock market have led to the plan's financial problems, but as you'll see by reading this story, the truth reflects considerably more poorly on the Regents.