Berkeley Community Opposed to Benefits Decentralization sign now


We, the undersigned members of the Berkeley community, write to express our opposition to the Benefits Decentralization plan. Benefits Decentralization will have the effect of cutting the number of GSI and lecturer appointments. By decentralizing the funding of benefits, the elimination of GSI and lecturer positions will be less visible, but no less serious.

When graduate student funding and lecturer benefits are dispersed through a larger, campus-wide pool, as under the current policy, GSI and lecturer labor costs for departments are relatively stable and predictable. Under Benefits Decentralization, departments will likely be subject to volatile swings in benefit and fee remission costs because of changes in the number of persons who use spousal benefits or receive fellowships. This places a significant financial and planning burden on departments, especially smaller departments.

Additionally, teaching is one of the primary means by which graduate students at Berkeley fund their education, and GSIs play a central role in undergraduate education. Cutting the number of GSI and lecturer appointments will likely create a greater workload for faculty and adversely affect undergraduates by cutting the number of sections available and increasing GSI/student ratios. The potential for increased GSI workload can have a negative effect on graduate students time to completion. It will almost certainly make it more difficult for the department to competitively recruit the most qualified graduate students.

In short, Benefits Decentralization places an undue burden on departments, and risks harming the integrity of both undergraduate and graduate instruction at Berkeley. We strongly urge the University administration to drop the plan.

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Justine RamosBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
Professor George Breslauer, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost; Frank Yeary, Vice Chancellor; Erin Gore, Associate Vice Chancellor, Budget; Teresa Costantinidis, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Budget; Debra Harrington, Director, Labor Relations

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