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For the Week of May 03, 2010
Outrage is brewing over an expose in UC Berkeley’s student newspaper, the Daily Californian, which reveals that the closure of UC Printing Services – and subsequent layoff of 40 employees – was related to the transfer of $2.9 million from printing plant reserves to Intercollegiate Athletics.
UC Berkeley’s faculty, staff and students have been debating the privileged status and high cost of Intercollegiate Athletics while core educational programs are cut. Meanwhile, lecturers who teach the less glamorous physical education classes such as swimming, yoga and dance, that serve thousands of students and staff, are facing budget cuts of 50%.
On April 30, the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee held an unprecedented field hearing at Berkeley City College about the “stalling and delays” that have prevented postdoctoral researchers from reaching an agreement with UC. PRO/UAW, the union representing postdocs, has been negotiating since 2008, when the union won recognition.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California is criticizing both UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley for their targeting of student protestors, saying the university’s disciplinary procedures do not meet “due process” requirements and constituted threats to constitutionally protected freedom of speech, assembly and privacy. You can find the ACLU’s letter to UC Berkeley here.
A new issue of the online journal Reclamations is up, covering issues of strategy for the movement to defend public education.
President Barack Obama joined labor activists this year in commemorating April 28 as “Workers’ Memorial Day,” remembering the thousands of workers who died or were injured or sickened on the job and fighting for better health and safety protections. It was the first time a US president formally honored the day.
UPTE activists at UCLA participated in a citywide commemoration in memory of lab worker Sheri Sangji, who died in 2009 following a lab fire, while her family met with US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to ask her to hold UCLA accountable for its flagrant safety violations. Sangji’s death is under criminal investigation by the Los Angeles District Attorney.
UPTE-CWA is mourning the loss of its founding president, Pete Goodman, who was 89. Pete spent his life as a passionate, articulate force in support of the rights and dignity of working people around the world. The union’s executive board learned of Pete's death as it began its May meeting and passed this resolution in his honor. _____________________________________________________________________________________