Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Supreme Court provides a reminder
On Monday, the Supreme Court unanimously seemed to undermine a lifetime promise of union-negotiated retiree health care and the distinction relative to a pension was made.* I am, of course, giving a non-legal view here. But it is hard even to know what pre-funding something that may or not be given even means. Why would employees be contributing to a benefit that might be taken away at employer discretion before they retire? Only if a promise is a promise does such a contribution make much sense. So were UC to start pre-funding retiree health with some combination of employer and employee contributions, it would hard for the university to maintain the benefit was just a nice but not guaranteed thing it happens to do.