There has always been a question about exactly what is the legal obligation of UC to pay for retiree health care. The position of the university has been that unlike the pension, there is no obligation. Nothing was really promised for sure. It’s just a nice thing UC does.
Employees of one of the former nuclear labs, once operated exclusively by UC but now administered under a consortium including UC, have been litigating over being cut off from UC retiree health as a result of the administrative transition. See below: T
Two years ago… the California Supreme Court confirmed that an implicit contract may exist requiring a public agency to continue providing benefits to its retirees even when there is no written document promising the benefits. The existence and validity of an implicit contract is a key contention of the retirees’ case. More recently, an Appeals Court overruled a decision by Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch dismissing the retirees’ suit as requested by the University.
Marty Crowningshield, who retired in 1999 after 31 years at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has taken over as president of the group after its original leader, Joe Requa, stepped down for health reasons… Under new leadership, the UC Livermore Laboratory Retirees Group will continue its legal action aimed at forcing the University of California to restore retirees to UC health care programs. Current legal activity includes an effort to change the suit to class action, which requires court permission and acceptance of a new group of plaintiffs. The change was agreed to by more than 90 percent of Retirees Group members in a survey and approved by its legal defense panel. If accepted by the court, the change could put more pressure on the University because of the possibility of greater damages…
There are obvious potential implications of the lawsuit for all retirees and employees of UC. But in the meantime, the lab retirees are saying they want back in: