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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 June 07, 2010

More than 12,000 nurses at UC medical centers and a few non-UC hospitals are preparing for a one-day strike this Thursday over safe patient-nurse staffing levels. UC has sought a restraining order to prevent the strike -- as they did successfully in 2005. More information at the pages of the California Nurses Association.

Health care professionals represented by UPTE-CWA have voted by a margin of 89% to authorize a strike at all 5 UC medical centers and student health centers. UPTE says the workers have witnessed “lavish expenditures by UC for executives and expansion, while they are being asked to take pay cuts.” The union represents 2,500 clinical lab scientists, social workers, pharmacists and other health care workers.

UC’s 14,000 clerical employees continue to sign support cards for NACE-CWA and AFSCME asking the Public Employment Relations Board for a state-supervised election in their bargaining unit. Either union needs about 4,000 signatures in order to get an election to replace CUE, the current representative, which recently sought affiliation with the Teamsters. Multiple lawsuits and member challenges are pending alleging that the affiliation vote was unconstitutional. You can keep up with the NACE campaign at its Facebook page.

UC’s Commission on the Future has proposed three-year degrees as one solution to the funding crisis affecting higher education. The Association of American Colleges and Universities has issued a statement criticizing such proposals, which are circulating among other universities as well.

Believe it or not, according to UC’s analysis of 2009 payroll data, senior management is the group most lagging market pay. According to UC, the workers doing best compared to market pay are union-represented service workers. The San Francisco Chronicle had a different take on the report, pointing out that “senior officials - earning more than $214,000 in total compensation - rose 6.3 percent, to 3,184 from 2,996 people.”

Commenting on these numbers, UC-AFT’s Bob Samuels notes “this growing income inequality has now been coupled with a decrease in work for the lowest-paid employees. Moreover, the imposition of the furlough/salary reduction program did not reduce the total budget; instead it shifted wealth to the wealthiest.” 

Need advice on races and ballot propositions in this Tuesdays election? The California Labor Federation’s endorsements are here. You can also help get out the vote through phone banking and other activities.

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 Please feel free to forward this memo to your colleagues. Anyone may subscribe to the Monday Memo.

If you are a UC administrative professional and haven’t asked your coworkers to sign a commitment card for the union, please do so today. All administrative professionals are also welcome to become members of UPTE, with all the associated rights and benefits.