Retirees Raise Funds, Address Regents

 

By Independent News 7/16/09

 

After raising about $50,000 -- half its anticipated legal costs -- the University of California Livermore Retiree Group plans to argue its case to UC Regents today that the University is obligated to take Livermore Lab retirees back to its health programs.

Checks donated to the legal fund have not been cashed yet “because we want to keep the option of returning them if a miracle happens and UC comes to its senses,” said Joe Requa, leader of the UC Livermore Retiree Group.

The Group contends that Livermore Lab retirees were removed from UC group health plans illegally at the end of 2007 when contract responsibility for the Lab was shifted from UC-only to Lawrence Livermore National Security, a limited liability company in which UC is a partner.

The Retiree Group has stated that it would like to avoid legal action but will take it if necessary; hence the legal fund.  It has also sent petitions advocating its position to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, California senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Congressional representatives Jerry McNerny and Ellen Tauscher (now moved to the State Department) and UC President Mark Yudof.

The Regents' presentation was arranged in part with the help of California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, a Regent by virtue of his office as well as a candidate for the 10th Congressional District seat recently vacated by Tauscher.  The District includes Livermore and part of Pleasanton .

Presenters are scheduled to be retirees Manuel Perry, formerly of the Lab’s bio-med and education programs, and John Holzrichter, formerly of the laser program and now president of the Hertz Foundation.  They will give short presentations on the last day of the current three-day Regents meeting at the community center of the Mission Bay campus of UC-San Francisco.

The meeting starts at 8:30 a.m., although the actual time of the retiree presentation is not specified and Regents meeting agendas often change from original plans.