When the University hired us, we undoubtedly signed and were given copies of employment documents. If anyone has an example, we would like to see it. Either a scanned copy emailed to me, a faxed copy to 707-313-4934 or a Xerox copy snail mailed to me would suffice. If it becomes necessary for evidence, we will need the original some time down the road.
We will be wrapping up the group petition signing at the end of the Labor Day weekend. It is never to late to send in individual petitions if you have not signed the group petitions and have not sent in individual petitions. I have had the link to the petitions inexplicably disappear from the web site twice. Here is a shortcut link to the petition pages: http://home.comcast.net/~jrequa/petition_links.htm
It will bring up a page with links to the generic group petitions at the top followed by instructions and links to the individual petitions.
By the time all of the signatures from remote areas come in we will have well over 400 signatures. I realize we could collect more if we continued, but I believe we have enough to have a big impact and with other things progressing, timeliness is becoming an issue.
One of our lawyers and I met with UC lawyers Jeff Blair and Barbara Clark to lay out our position and determine theirs. We agreed that the meeting would be under non-disclosure to encourage frank communication so I canŐt go into details. We expect to have another meeting in the near future. I want to get the group petition to President Yudof so he has time to react before the next meeting causing the early cutoff of signature collection.
Al Diaz, Manuel Perry and I went to the last meeting of the Tri-Valley democratic club. Manuel introduced us to California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi who is also a UC Regent. He has read what we have to say, understands it and talked to UC lawyer Jeff Blair about it. We will probably follow up by attending the next RegentŐs meeting. We also heard from all the announced candidates for Ellen TauscherŐs seat. I came away convinced that John is the best candidate. I also came away with the opinion that a lot more people need to get involved with political parties if democracy is to survive.
There has been a significant increase in the email buzz about our medical benefits. There are at least 3 other active groups and some independent operators. A number of contacts with interested parties resulted from publicity about petition signing. I have been telling everyone who will listen that we should all come together and present a united front. Where we have common approaches we can work together. Where we have different approaches we can support each other. There is at least one effort to get together a steering committee to spearhead the activities.
I hope all of you received the polite letter from George Miller telling us we are getting excellent benefits at highly subsidized prices. He did confirm that Extend Health has not come to agreement with Kaiser. He also promised that those retirees under Kaiser would be allowed to keep Kaiser this fall. My reading of the letter says there will be no open enrollment in Kaiser. That sort of makes a mockery out of the terms ŇOpen EnrollmentÓ. Note that his statement didnŐt address what would happen if Extend Health and Kaiser donŐt come to an agreement,
Getting all interested parties on the same page is the biggest immediate problem. There are a number of powerful people who have definite ideas of what should be done. Since many of them are retired managers, it may be possible to organize along the lines of previous management ties. It may be that they have enough previous contacts at UC and DoE to convince them of our stance,
Putting together a legal entity that can collect and disperse funds and enter into contracts will be necessary if we need to take legal action. This is likely to be my next hobby. If any of you have a clue about how to do it, please contact me. As soon as we can legally do it, we will begin collecting funds for a legal challenge. Selecting the right Law Firm to take legal action can go on in parallel with setting up the entity. We are working on law firm selection. At best we can find a firm satisfactory to all players. At worst we will have spun our wheels a bit.
We need to continue the political and public dialogs in hopes of settling the issue without litigation. Working to influence President Yudof, the Regents and the UC lawyers still has the potential to achieve a cooperative solution. If that doesnŐt work, a threatening letter from a top rated law firm might do the job without litigation.