UC Berkeley News


News Briefs

17 November 2004

For HCRA and DepCare, employees must sign up during Open Enrollment

Employees who want to participate in 2005 in the Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) or the Dependent Care Account (DepCare) must re-enroll during Open Enrollment in November. This applies even to those currently enrolled in those plans. The HCRA and DepCare programs allow employees to pay for qualifying medical or dependent-care expenses on a pre-tax, salary-reduction basis.

Details on benefit options will be provided at the campus’s final 2004 Open Enrollment workshop, Monday, Nov. 22, from 2 to 4 p.m., in 150 University Hall. Open Enrollment ends at midnight, Tuesday, Nov. 30. All benefit changes are made using the “At Your Service” website, atyourservice.ucop.edu.

Career Development program now open to UPTE-represented staff

The Career Development Opportunity Program (CDOP) is again available to Berkeley staff in the Technical Unit and the Research Support Professional Unit who are represented by the University Professional and Technical Employees union (UPTE). Pursuant to an agreement signed by UPTE Local 1 on Nov. 3, the Office of Human Resources will begin processing applications received between July 28 and Oct. 6 from employees represented by UPTE upon receiving confirmation that the employees still wish to proceed.

Employees in the two units are encouraged to take advantage of CDOP funding, which provides eligible employees with up to $3,000 per calendar year to increase their professional skills or move into new career paths. For information on CDOP, as well as application forms, see hrweb.berkeley.edu/learning/cdop.htm.

Lavender Cal Social for LGBT staff set for Dec. 3

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender faculty, staff, and administrators are invited to attend a Lavender Cal Social from noon to 1:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3, in 242 Cesar Chavez Center. Socialize and reconnect with old friends, meet the new faces on campus, and catch up on new LGBT resources and policies. For information, contact Billy Curtis at billyc@berkeley.edu or 643-0788.

Nov. 22: Poet Ron Padgett on artist Joe Brainard

Poet Ron Padgett will be on campus Monday, Nov. 22, to read from his new memoir of the artist Joe Brainard, who died of AIDS in 1994. In his book, Joe: A Memoir of Joe Brainard (Coffee House Press), Padgett tells the unlikely but true story of two childhood friends — one straight, one gay — who grew up in 1950s Oklahoma, moved to New York City in search of art and poetry, and became part of a dynamic community of artists and writers whose influence on American culture continues to this day. The reading is at 7 p.m. in the Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall.

Botanical Garden holiday plant and gift sale set for Dec. 4

House plants including colorful begonias, bromeliads, and tillandsias, as well as cacti, succulents, carnivorous plants, rare lapageria vines, choice orchids, and garden-related books and gifts, will be available for purchase at UC Botanical Garden’s Holiday Plant and Gift Sale, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4. Free parking will be available in the UC lot across from the garden entrance. Admission to the garden is free during the sale. For information see botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu.

UC reaches $222.5-million settlement in Enron securities case

The University of California announced on Oct. 29 a $222.5-million settlement with Lehman Brothers in the Enron Corp. securities class-action lawsuit. The university was lead plaintiff representing a class of Enron investors who lost billions of dollars when the corporation declared bankruptcy.

“This agreement continues a pattern of highly favorable settlements with underwriter defendants and provides a substantial recovery to the purchasers of the Enron debt securities that Lehman Brothers participated in underwriting,” said UC general counsel James Holst.

As one of the underwriters on millions of dollars of Enron notes, Lehman Brothers was charged with violations of the 1933 Securities Act, which makes underwriters liable for misstatements in a security-registration statement. Lehman was not charged with fraud. In July, UC settled similar claims against the Bank of America for $69 million.

The University lost $144.9 million as a result of its investments in Enron, including $115.5 million in the UC Retirement Plan portfolio and $14.03 million in the 403(b) Equity portfolio (together less than 0.3 percent of total funds under its management).

The Oct. 29 settlement is subject to court approval.