We seem to have about as many interested people as we are likely to have in the near future. It is time to start the action. Below is a list of contact points for a number of the people we would like to influence, and a generic letter. Your task is to email each of the people on the list with either the generic letter or a letter of your own writing. If you donŐt want to be associated with the group, delete the last line. I have also tacked on the letters I am sending. Feel free to plagiarize them. I hope to add Richard C. Blum, Office of the Secretary and Chief of Staff to The Regents and Senator Barbara Boxer to the list.

I have not found an email link to Blum. Email to Boxer is a multiple guess list with no box for none of the above.

 

I would like to try to time the letters so they arrive Monday morning so, if possible, mail them after 6:00 pm Thursday. Please send me an email when you have sent them so I have a count of how many were sent. If you write your own, please include a copy as well.

 

Joe

 

_____________________________________________________________________

 

 

president@ucop.edu  UC President Mark G. Yudof

http://gov.ca.gov/interact  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Fill in form and choose UC/CSU issues/concerns from drop down subject list.

regentsoffice@ucop.edu UC Regents

http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactUS.EmailMe Senator Dianne Feinstein,  fill in form, choose Government Affairs topic.

http://www.tauscher.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=966&Itemid=103 Representative Ellen Tauscher fill in form, use Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as subject.

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

To;

Mark G. Yudof President of the University of California,

Arnold Schwarzenegger President of the Board of Regents,

Senator Dianne Feinstein United States Senate,

Ellen Tauscher United States House of Representatives,

Regents of the University of California.

 

I am writing you to express my concern for the way my retiree medical benefits are being handled. I worked for the University of California at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) until retirement. The University promised me when I retired I would receive the same medical benefits as those provided for active university employees. Until the Department of Energy decided to change the management contractor for LLNL, the promise was kept. Now that a new contractor has been selected, that promise is being broken. The Department of Energy and the University have transferred liability for my medical benefits to an organization that I have never worked for and has no interest in my welfare. 

 

The new management contractor has been given a free hand to cut my benefits to conform to their idea of what is average for the commercial world.  They have a 3-year plan to reduce my benefits and significantly increase my costs. That is not what I worked for or what I expected. I donŐt understand why an organization that didnŐt exist when I retired should be in control of my retiree medical benefits. I understand that UC can modify or eliminate my health benefits, but only if they do the same for all other employees. I appeal to you for help keep my health benefits safe and protect me from the new contractor.

 

I have joined a group organized by Joe Requa to try to prevent erosion of my medical benefits and I support his efforts to secure them.

 

 

Your Name and address

 

 

Letter to the political types

 

I am writing you to protest the way The Department of Energy and the University of California are illegally reducing the retiree medical benefits provided to Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (LLNL) retirees. In my case, I retired from LLNL in 1999 and received retirement benefits from UC as promised. When DOE awarded the management contract for LLNL to Lawrence Livermore National Security (LLNS) LLC, they required LLNS to provide my retirement benefits and gave them free reign to modify or cancel them at will. This fall, LLNS laid out a 3-year plan, starting 1/1/09, to cut my benefits and increase my costs, so the liability has been moved and modified.

 

UC treated LLNL as a campus and assured us we would be treated the same as all other UC employees. Since I am an employee of UC, and not of DOE or LLNS, DOE has no right to transfer UCŐs liability for my retiree medical benefits to LLNS without my permission. UC promised us the same retiree benefits as all their other employees. They reserve the right to modify or terminate our medical benefits, but they can only do that if they do the same for their other employees. Discriminating against a group of their employees relative to the others is illegal.

 

These changes affect approximately 5000 LLNL retirees, so I am not the only one. Many of the UC retirees, including me, are not covered by Medicare, in part because of UC policies in 1976. Without Medicare to fall back on, termination of medical benefits would be catastrophic.

 

You have already received at least one complaint on this issue from Lillie Mitchell, who also had a letter to the editor on the subject published in the Livermore Valley Times on 11/19/08. You are now receiving my complaint and I am organizing a group of retirees to pursue the issue. You will be hearing from them soon. 

 

I have been trying to obtain legal representation to pursue the issue. I have tried lawyer referral services and calling law offices, but I have not found representation. Under our legal system, if I canŐt find or afford legal help I loose by default. In that case, only political intervention can help me and my supporters.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

Joe Requa

 

 

 

 

Letter to UC President

 

 

Dear President Yudof;

 

According to the newspapers, one of your priorities is cleaning up problems left by the previous administration. In that vein, I would like to raise a problem you should address immediately.  Are you aware that a group of University of California retirees have had their retiree medical benefits terminated by the University? If not, you should investigate the situation. If so, you should correct the situation. There is no justification for the University segregating a group of employees, based on campus of employment, and refusing to provide them equal treatment.

 

It is a ludicrous situation when responsibility for my medical benefits has been transferred to Lawrence Livermore National Security (LLNS), an LLC that was created long after I retired and with which I had no prior relationship. LLNS is not required to provide the same benefits as UC, except on 10/1/2007, when the new management contract went into effect. The new contractor has been given a free hand to modify or eliminate my benefits.  They have a plan to significantly deviate from the UC benefits model over the next three years starting 1/1/2009, reducing my benefits and significantly raising my costs. I am one of the UC retirees that is not covered by Medicare, in part because of earlier UC policies in 1976. Elimination of my medical benefit would be catastrophic. About 5000 retirees from the LLNL campus, are impacted by the situation.

 

The management contract between UC and DOE clearly stated that on termination the University would retain responsibility for pensioners. The parties are in breach of that clause. Another clause provides that DOE will pay for any unfunded University liabilities caused by the termination. The fact that DOE is providing funds to LLNS to pay my benefits implicitly recognizes they are responsible for the liability, they are just trying to avoid paying the real cost. They have placed us in a demographic group badly skewed toward higher ages, we are 500 in the LLNL pool of 7000 rather than the UC pool of 170,000.  This assures that negotiated medical contracts will cost much more than those for UC. The obvious remedy is to force DOE to pay the costs to UC, so they can provide our medical benefits rather than letting LLNS give us inferior benefits at a much higher cost.

 

I have been trying to obtain legal representation to pursue the issue. I have tried lawyer referral services and calling law offices, but I have not found representation. Under our legal system, unless I can find legal support, I loose even if I am right. In that case, only appeals to people in positions of power, elected officials and the public are available to help me. I am organizing a group of affected UC retirees to help publicize the issues. You can expect to hear from them in the near future. For your information, there have already been two letters to the editor on the subject published in the Livermore Valley Times by Lillie Mitchell on 11/19/08 and Burke Ritchie on 11/24/08.

 

 

I am available for both telephone conversations and direct talks. Being hidebound, I do not have a cell phone, so if you call me and I donŐt answer, please leave a message with a good time to call back.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

Joe Requa

 

 

 

 

 

Letter to the governor

 

 

Dear governor Schwarzenegger

 

I am writing you roles of elected public official and regent of the University of California. The of University of California have stopped paying retiree medical benefits to retirees from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratort.. There is no justification for the University segregating a group of employees, based on campus of employment, and refusing to provide them equal treatment. I implore you to do something about the situation.

 

It is a ludicrous situation when responsibility for my medical benefits has been transferred to Lawrence Livermore National Security (LLNS), an LLC that was created long after I retired and with which I had no prior relationship. LLNS is not required to provide the same benefits as UC, except on 10/1/2007 when the new management contract went into effect. The new contractor has been given a free hand to modify or eliminate my benefits.  They have a plan to significantly deviate from the UC benefits model over the next three years starting 1/1/2009, reducing my benefits and significantly raising my costs. I and the other 5000 affected retirees from the LLNL campus, are up in arms about the situation. I am one of the UC retirees that is not covered by Medicare, in part because of earlier UC policies in 1976. Elimination of my medical benefit would be catastrophic.

 

The management contract between UC and DOE clearly stated that on termination the University would retain responsibility for pensioners. The parties are in breach of that clause. Another clause provides that DOE will pay for any unfunded University liabilities caused by the termination. The fact that DOE is providing funds to LLNS to pay my benefits implicitly recognizes they are responsible for the liability, they are just trying to avoid paying the real cost. They have placed us in a demographic group badly skewed toward higher ages, assuring that negotiated medical contracts will cost much more than those for UC which they plan on passing on to us.. The obvious remedy is to force DOE to pay the costs to UC to provide the promised medical benefits rather than letting LLNS give us inferior benefits at a much higher cost.

 

I have been trying to obtain legal representation to pursue the issue. I have tried lawyer referral services and calling law offices, but I have not found representation. Under our legal system, unless I can find legal support, I loose even if I am right. In that case, only appeals to people in positions of power, elected officials and the public are available to help me.

 

I am organizing a group of affected UC retirees to help publicize the issues. You can expect to hear from them in the near future. For your information, there have already been two letters to the editor on the subject published in the Livermore Valley Times by Lillie Mitchell on 11/19/08 and Burke Ritchie on 11/24/08.

 

 

Thank you for your consideration,

 

Joe Requa