Labor Notes #367, October 2009

The economic crisis has left 47 states in the red, with a combined deficit of $350 billion over the next two years. Pension benefits have been a highly visible target, pitting taxpayers against public workers in state and local governments.

These struggles will only intensify, as swooning stock prices have left nearly two-thirds of all state and local government pension funds at least 20 percent shy of what they need to cover retirees.

A coalition of unions, faculty, and students gave a sharp rebuke to cuts and corporate giveaways at the renowned University of California system on September 24—the first day back for most UC campuses.

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