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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 06, 2011

Nurses at UC hospitals and student health centers ratified their first multiyear contract in nearly a decade, which includes an average pay increase of 11% over the next 26 months as well pension protection, health benefits, rest breaks during shifts, and stronger contract provisions for nurses “to address patient safety issues with managers.”

In a victory for government transparency, state senator Leland Yee, and public records advocates, state university officials “have withdrawn their opposition to public disclosure” about how campus foundations manage nearly $2 billion of donations.” Yee’s bill, prompted by secrecy over a Sarah Palin fundraiser at CSU Stanislaus and other “questionable” uses of foundation funds, is expected to pass and be signed into law.

Devastating budget cuts are continuing their negative effects on UC, especially when it comes to attracting and retaining dedicated staff and faculty. The latest high-profile casualty: a group of physicists at UCSD, who have moved their lab to Rice University after being offered better public funding from a private school in Texas than they got from California premier public university.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's plan to split UW-Madison from the UW system “is dead,” confirm Republican officials, as is a compromise plan to create a separate board of regents for UW-Madison.

Thousands of public workers in New Jersey rallied last week against anti-union governor Chris Christie’s drive to cut their health benefits and chip away at pensions. Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson kicked off the campaign on Tuesday, urging state workers to stand firm against the "toxic wind" that is blowing across America trying to eradicate collective bargaining rights.

"Workers are being dumped on as if you are the reason we're in an economic crisis," he said. "State workers must hold ranks and fight back. You have the votes. You must not let this governor break
your spirit." _____________________________________________________________________________________

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