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Got the Monday blues? Start your week off right with a helping of useful information and informed opinion.

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For the week of November 30, 2009

California’s Public Employment Relations Board has issued a complaint against UC for bad faith bargaining with UPTE’s 10,000 researchers and techs. The complaint covers UC’s refusal to bargain over furloughs, cuts and layoffs, making its wage offer contingent on the state budget and then withdrawing it, and refusing to bargain over holiday closures.

The complaint is a strong rebuke of UC’s refusal to engage in meaningful dialog at the table. A “complaint” means the state labor board has found enough evidence to charge the university with violating labor law, and that the matter will go to a full hearing. Here’s a flyer about the complaint for posting in workplaces.

Meanwhile, about 60 students on their way to a court hearing in downtown Oakland last Monday stopped in at UC’s Office of the President to demand a face-to-face meeting with UC president Mark Yudof. Yudof wasn’t in, but two UC officials met with them for several hours, promising an investigation into last week’s police violence on campus.

Over 100 Berkeley faculty have signed a letter voicing “strenuous objection to the use of unwarranted violence by the police forces” during the Wheeler Hall occupation. Graduate students, Berkeley’s Academic Senate, and many others have also objected to the police actions. UCB’s chancellor has pledged a full investigation.

The national radio show Democracy Now broadcast a report by an independent journalist who was inside Berkeley’s Wheeler Hall during the occupation, and its host, Amy Goodman, published this column on the movement to preserve public education.
 
A November 24 re-occupation of Mrak Hall at UC Davis by 150 protestors ended after UC officials agreed to drop disciplinary proceedings against previous protestors and negotiate over demonstrators’ demands. A colorful account of the Los Angeles regents’ meeting appeared The Nation, and the wave of campus building occupations that followed.

Students at Trinity College in Dublin, the largest library in Ireland, have reportedly been occupying it since Sunday night to demand that the book budget not be cut and that library hours be extended.

A Sacramento Bee editorial says the legislature and governor need to find a way to stabilize public higher education costs, particularly since, as one Davis faculty member wrote in a Bee opinion piece, “Every dollar the state invests in UC returns more than $5 to California . . . every two employees at UC Davis create enough economic activity to support the hiring of one employee outside the university.”

The Harvard Crimson writes that raising in-state student fees is unfair, and will likely have severe effects on campus diversity. Local media are already worrying that Californians priced out of UC may soon be flooding community colleges, which are also near capacity. The Visalia Times-Delta wrote that with the 32% fee hike and cuts to services, UC is “straying from its mission.”

The Sacramento-based Capitol Weekly covered the contention that fee increases are going to support bond funding for capital projects.

The UC administration is blaming Sacramento without taking any responsibility for how it has pursued a course of privatization and dodged calls for budget transparency over the last many years, according to UC-AFT president Bob Samuels, who also recaps the history of recent UC pay scandals. And while UC is trying to woo students and staff to its argument that Sacramento is entirely at fault, many aren’t buying that story, as this article from Inside Higher Ed shows.

UC San Diego has hired a new CEO for the Medical Center, Thomas E. Jackiewicz. According to the Sacramento Bee's public employee salary database, the new CEO earned a salary of $490,000 in regular pay at his previous position as Associate Vice Chancellor, while the San Diego Union Tribune reports that his new salary as CEO will be $600,000. This represents an increase of more than 22%.
 
Meanwhile, as this short video documents, a “priceless” UC education could soon be out of reach for many qualified Californians.
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The Monday Memo is edited collectively by a group of UC administrative professionals who are working for union representation with UPTE-CWA. We publish most Mondays, unless it is a university holiday, or we just need a mental health day off. We welcome your submissions, either credited or anonymous, at mondaymemo@upte-cwa.org.

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