Apparently there is a little gotcha when deploying an arcpy.da.UpdateCursor on a versioned feature class. This post, The requested operation is invalid on a closed state goes into exactly what I've encountered. In that same post, Caleb Mackey provides some 'wrapper classes' that he says mitigates the problem. He imports is module the same way one imports arcpy or numpy at the top of a script.
My question is where do I place his cursors.py module so I can import it and try it?