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Two UC staff elected to the University of California Retirement System (UCRS) Advisory Board

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Ruth Zolayavar from the UC San Diego Medical Center and David Yamada from UCLA Medical Center have been elected to the University of California Retirement System (UCRS) Advisory Board.

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More than 7,100 staff members cast ballots in the recent election, with Zolayvar and Yamada receiving the most votes in a field of six candidates. Each staff member could vote for up to two of the six candidates.

Zolayvar, a pharmacy technician, has worked at UC San Diego Medical Center for nearly seventeen years and is a current UCRS Advisory Board member, as well as a member of AFSCME local 3299. In her candidate statement, she explains that she chose to run for a second term “to continue fighting to make sure that UC prioritizes protecting the health of our pension and so that UC workers of all backgrounds, ethnicities, job titles and income levels will be able to retire with security and dignity.”

Yamada, a nurse, has worked at UCLA Medical Center for fourteen years and serves as the Chief Nurse Representative for the California Nurses Association (CNA). In his candidate statement, he explains, “The pension is one of the main reasons I have remained at UCLA for 14 years. I intend to work for UC until retirement as long as the pension remains healthy and the UC system remains a safe environment to practice nursing. It would be an honor to help protect the pension on behalf of UC nurses through service on this committee.”

The election, which was held from May 22 through June 16, 2023, was conducted by an independent third-party vendor. The election included both electronic and paper balloting, with Spanish translations available for all election materials.

Here are the official election results:

Candidate

Votes

Ruth Zolayvar (UC San Diego Medical Center)

3,377

David Yamada (UCLA Medical Center)

3,127

Angela Clark (UC Office of the President)

2,490

Anh Pham (UC Irvine)

1,778

Gretchen Verdugo (UC Irvine)

1,648

Jake Banfield-Weir (UC San Diego)

1,392

Yamada and Zolayvar will both serve a four-year term starting July 1, 2023. They will join nine other members that comprise the advisory group that represents a cross-section of the university community.

In addition to the two seats held by elected staff representatives, the Board includes two members selected by the Academic Senate, the Chief Investment Officer, four Presidential appointments, and the chairs of the Council of UC Emeriti Associations (CUCEA) and Council of UC Retiree Associations (CUCRA).

The Board meets a minimum of three times a year to discuss and share its opinions with UC leadership relating to all members, retirees and their beneficiaries for the following plans:

  • University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP)
  • Tax-Deferred 403(b) Plan
  • 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Defined Contribution Plan

Learn more about the UCRS Advisory Board and the election process.

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