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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 April 26, 2010

Following last week’s news about UC boosting out-of-state enrollments and establishing wait lists for high school seniors, a MediaNews editorial in East Bay newspapers complained that “UC Berkeley’s decision to double the number of out-of-state admissions is a disservice to the 1,725 California students who will be forced to go elsewhere. It is also an insult to the state's taxpayers who provide more than $3 billion a year for the University of California system.”

Support for that position comes from a new report from the Public Policy Institute of California urging the state’s public colleges and universities to expand college eligibility and enrollment for California students. PPIC projects a shortage of 1 million educated workers by 2025. Author Hans Johnson says changes are needed to meet the needs of our knowledge-based economy. “There are other benefits, as well,” he added. “Higher eligibility and transfer rates would lead to a more diverse student body—racially, ethnically, and economically—on UC and CSU campuses.”

An Oakland journalist has asked the Alameda County Superior Court to force UC Berkeley police to return photos he took during a December 11 protest outside Chancellor Birgeneau’s home. David Moore claimed he had identified himself as a journalist but his camera was taken when he was arrested. The photos were never returned when charges were dropped.

UC Berkeley’s Academic Senate heard last week that officials of intercollegiate athletics hadn’t realized they were running a multimillion-dollar deficit because expenses hadn’t been properly tracked. At the end of the meeting, Charles Schwartz (professor emeritus, physics) presented a resolution for the senate to create a special committee to "collect, study and formulate a set of reform proposals concerning the governance and leadership" of the UC system. The senate will issue a mail ballot to vote on the resolution.

To a number of professors, Chancellor Birgeneau’s “special” council to advise him about the money-losing athletics department “flouts the faculty’s clear position,” violates university rules, and is special “mainly for its one-sidedness.”

For those who missed the post-employment benefits presentation, you can watch the video made at UCLA. A discussion of the alternatives being considered for currently employed staff/faculty begins at about the 21 minute mark.

Public employee unions and other supporters of public education ended their 365-mile march from Bakersfield to Sacramento with a rally on April 21. The next day, they met with lawmakers to present their budget recommendations—$40 billion in tax increases and other changes to avoid cutting services.

UPTE-LA participated in an annual mock funeral procession in Los Angeles for Workers’ Memorial Day on April 24. The official Workers’ Memorial Day is commemorated internationally on April 28. 

Local 1’s campaign to win back jobs and benefits for long-time UPTE-represented workers at Cal Performances made some progress last weekend during an informational picket outside Zellerbach Hall. UPTE members met with the performers, which prompted the director of Cal Performances to propose a meeting with UPTE and Labor Relations. When the chancellor happened by and they told him why they were there, he expressed surprise that scene techs weren’t getting benefits and said he would talk to the director of Cal Performances. Local 1 is following up by asking members to call or email Director Matias Tarnopolosky (510/643-6716, Monday or Tuesday (April 26 and 27) before 5 pm and ask him to immediately rehire scene techs -- now working casually -- with guaranteed hours and health benefits. If you can't get through, leave a message at the administrative office (510/642-0212). Patrons of last week’s Sweet Honey in the Rock, Arlo Guthrie and Pat Metheny shows will be calling too. _____________________________________________________________________________________

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