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UC-AFT Meets with Steinberg and Zettel to Discuss Joint Governance of UCRP


On Wednesday April 21, UC-AFT Vice President for Legislation Axel Borg and UC-AFT Exectuive Director Karen Sawislak joined with leaders of other UC unions at the Capitol office of Senate President pro Tem Darrel Steinberg for an unusual face-to-face meeting with the University leaders on the subject of governance of the UC pension fund.  

At the meeting, we called upon the University to add employee representatives to the governing board of the UCRP.  Unlike all other public employee pension funds in California, UCRP entirely lacks any employee representation in the body that sets investment policy and makes other key decisions about the administration of the multi-billion dollar retirement fund.  

The meeting came about due primarily to the efforts of our sister UC union AFSCME, which has taken a lead role in contesting Senate confirmation of Regent-Designate Charlene Zettel.  Senator Steinberg offered to host this meeting after union protests at Zettel's confirmation hearing, where Senators heard about Zettel's anti-worker record and the fact that there is no employee representation in the management and administration of the UCRP.

At the meeting on the 21st, Regent-Designate Zettel and UC Vice-President for Business Operations Nathan Brostrom heard the union coalition demand that the UC Regents create a governing board for the UCRP that is representative of the stakeholders in the retirement plan -- and therefore includes employee representation.

Regent-Designate Zettel did not commit to supporting employee representation on a UCRP governing board, which is one reason that UC unions continue to oppose her confirmation.  However, with the strong encouragement of Senator Steinberg, she and Vice-President Brostrom did agree to schedule further meetings on this subject with other Regents in the very near future.  We look forward to participating in this conversation.

We wish to express our appreciation to Senator Steinberg for his leadership in bringing UC to the table to discuss this very important subject.  At the meeting, Senator Steinberg clearly expressed his support for employee representation in the governance of the UC pension plan.  He has directed his staff to continue to coordinate discussions with UC in regard to this very important subject.

Karen Sawislak, UC-AFT Executive Director 

Axel Borg, UC-AFT Legislative V.P.