Davis Faculty Association

Archive for February, 2003

Notes From the UC Committee on Faculty Welfare Annual Report

(Renee Binder, Chair)

Legal Liability and Legal Representation: UCFW continued to investigate issues of legal liability and legal representation, issues that might arise if a Senate member is sued or threatened with suit for acts related to University employment, or is the target of a whistleblower’s accusation. UCFW is concerned that faculty members may be insufficiently protected by current policies that do not guarantee independent counsel for faculty members who are innocent of any wrongdoing, but whose self-interests may be in conflict with the self-interest of the University. UCFW is in the process of forming a Subcommitteee on Legal Liability Issues. This UCFW subcommittee will strive for revised policies that will be more protective of the rights and due process of faculty members.

Colas: Three Month Delay from Start of Fiscal Year: UCFW considered the Davis divisional CFW’s proposal to end the cost of living adjustment (COLA) offset. When COLAs are next funded, the COLA delay could be abolished simply by returning to  the historic practice of having the effective date of a COLA coincide with the start of the fiscal year, July 1 (rather than being offset to October 1). Ending the COLA offset would prospectively spare new retirees the financial prejudice that has been caused to retirees over the past decade, who have had their base income for retirement purposes diminished by the delayed receipt of annual COLAs. The coming year, in which range adjustments are expected to be small to non-existent, could be an appropriate time for UC to commit to the normal July 1 date. This was discussed in a preliminary way with Larry Hershman. The COLA offset discussion will need to be continued in the future.

Phased Retirement (Phased Employment): UCFW has been working with Administration to develop a proposal for a new, voluntary phased-retirement program that would allow Senate members to enter into pre-retirement contracts governing the terms and extent of postretirement teaching and service. Mutual agreements between the University and the individual employee, who would have to be at least 60 years old, would be drawn up to cover a period of three to five years. The employee would retire and immediately begin to draw full retirement pay while continuing to work on a pro-rated basis for any percentage up to 50 percent time. At the end of the agreement, retirement benefits would be recalculated, taking into account the additional (pro-rated) service and any merits or range adjustments received in the interim. Administration is gathering detailed information on the  strengths and weaknee]sses of existing programs at comparison institutions; full benefits implications also need to be worked out. Though a number of potential problems exist, specifically involving startup costs, laboratory and office space, steady progress has been made throughout the year on this proposal.

Parking Policy Principles — Approved by UCFW, June 12, 2002:[There are 7 principles listed; I am quoting only #4. If you want to see the others, contact me.]

4. When existing parking is destroyed to accommodate campus development, the cost of constructing replacement parking should, to the greatest extent possible, be included in and charged to the cost of the new development.

New construction should result in an increase in the amount of parking available in order to ensure that both pre-existing and new parking needs are met. Unfortunately, construction projects often destroy parking spaces and may even result in a net decrease to the total number of spaces available on a campus. The practice of requiring that parking budgets be levied to pay for replacement spaces amounts to an inappropriate subsidy of the University’s capital costs by permit holders. There is no prohibition on the use of State funds to pay for parking expenses, and State funds have been used to pay for parking construction on at least one UC campus. Even if such a prohibition existed, it would be unreasonable to apply it to spaces that have already been paid for one or more times by permit holders.

The normal expectation should be that, to the greatest extent possible, the full, current cost of replacement parking will be incorporated into the cost of new construction and that this policy will apply to both state-funded and non-state-funded projects. However, when the cost of replacement parking would make it impossible for a campus to undertake a state-funded project deemed crucial to its academic mission, a campus administration may propose an exception by consulting the body designated under principle 6 with the understanding that the burden of proof rests with those advocating that the policy on replacement parking be overridden.

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