UC-AFT Insider February 2011
University Council-AFT Insider
February 1, 2011
In this issue:
- Budget Cuts Loom- Which Way to the May Revise?
- Unit 18 Bargaining- Initial Proposals Exchanged
- Reduced Social Security Deduction- Money for nothing?
- Part Time Salary Scale and Benefits Equity Bill
Budget Cuts Loom- Which Way to the May Revise?
UC-AFT’s leadership has been very active over the last few weeks responding to Governor Brown’s proposed $500 million reduction to the University of California budget. UC-AFT’s President, Bob Samuels, and V.P. for Legislation, Axel Borg, spent a few days in Sacramento speaking at hearings and talking to legislators and members of Brown’s staff. For a brief outline of the proposed budget, follow this link:
For UC-AFT’s proposal for keeping the cuts out of UC’s lecture halls, please follow this link:
Unit 18 Bargaining- Initial Proposals Exchanged
At 2pm on January 28, UC-AFT and UC representatives simultaneously e-mailed initial proposals to each other. The exchange marked the beginning the bargaining process, which will continue with weekly meetings starting at the end of February. Each UC-AFT local will be appointing two bargaining representatives to act as liaisons between the bargaining team and the members of their local. If you are interested in working with the bargaining team in this capacity, please contact your local’s field representative. Please follow the link below to read a quick note from UC-AFT’s Chief Bargainer, Alan Karras, including a brief introduction to the ‘interest based’ bargaining process, and links to the full proposals from each side.
Reduced Social Security Deduction- Money for nothing?
In our February paycheck most of us will see a two percent increase in take home pay. This is due to the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. In addition to maintaining tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, the bill reduced our individual portion of the payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2%. For more on this see the 17 December 2010 IRS press release. (http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=232590,00.html).
The act provides this relief for one year only and the 6.2% rate will return in 2012. In addition, the IRS assures us that this will not reduce future Social Security benefits. The government will borrow $112 billion to fill the hole in the Social Security Trust Fund created by the reduced payroll tax. This borrowing will have to be paid for with tax increases or spending cuts in the future, when Social Security will already be under increased pressure from the retirement of the baby boomers.
We’ve seen the affects of borrowing against and intentionally underfunding pensions. Let’s hope that this stimulus scheme doesn’t play right into the hands of those who would dismantle Social Security.
Part Time Salary Scale and Benefits Equity Bill
In January, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) introduced SB 114, which will provide greater equity in regards to compensation and service credits for faculty at California’s community colleges. If passed, the bill will require community college districts to create a salary and service credit schedule for part-time faculty that mirrors the schedule for full-time faculty who have the same years of experience and have met the same academic requirements. This bill resulted from a resolution drafted by the CFT Part Time Committee, which was passed at the CFT convention last year(March 2010). For more detail on this important legislation, and a sample letter for legislators, please follow this link:
If you have not already joined the union, please fill out the attached membership form, or download one from our website. You are represented by UC-AFT, but representation and deductions from your pay do not mean that you are automatically a member. You can mail the completed application to the address on the bottom of the form, or contact your local staff for assistance.
The University Council – American Federation of Teachers is an affiliate of the California Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO.