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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 13, 2011

The state of California is facing its statutory deadline for a budget on June 15, but it needs four Republican votes to move forward, according to an interview with Governor Jerry Brown published in the Los Angeles Times.  While talks continue, the governor released a video today updating his proposals.

UC faces a $500 million cut in the state budget. “The University of California system, once the envy of the world, is on a rapid downhill slide that will have profound effects for our state, our families, our country, and our world,” wrote UC Riverside Professor Tom Lutz in an article entitled “Mad as Hell” in last week’s Chronicle of Higher Education. Lutz resigned his position as chair of Riverside’s Creative Writing Department. He writes: “The budget cuts of recent years and the ones we know for certain are coming next year mean a gross deterioration of our university. Those faculty who do leave for better jobs, or retire, or die in harness, are not being replaced. Staff who leave are not being replaced -- the positions of those who are left are simply ‘reorganized,’” while students have increasing trouble getting the classes they need.

UC management is taking the opportunity to employ expensive consultants to advise it how to slash and burn, such as Berkeley’s mis-named “Operational Excellence,” which, according to an analysis by UCSB Professor Chris Newfield, “has dug Berkeley into a deeper operational hole than it was already in.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic president of the New Jersey state Senate plans to move ahead with a bill that would require state workers to pay more for health and pension benefits, despite state Assembly Democrats’ refusal to support it. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and other national union leaders sent a letter to state Democrats yesterday, urging legislators to leave health and pension benefits as part of the collective bargaining process.

Four months after hundreds of thousands of public workers in Wisconsin occupied their state capitol, activists are continuing their protests against Governor Scott Walker at a huge tent city called “Walkerville” that sprang up earlier this month. 

All the bad news doesn’t mean we should give up our sense of humor. The AFL-CIO has launched an awareness-raising campaign about Republican-enacted laws across the nation. Check out their new online game, "Real or Not?" and test your knowledge about whether a particular proposal -- like requiring all South Dakotans to purchase firearms -- is, well, real or not. Have some fun here.

And don’t miss the next CWA “virtual town hall,” Thursday June 16, at 7:30 EDT when MSNBC talk show host Ed Schultz will join the call. An impassioned supporter of workers, Schultz was the first national media figure to report from Wisconsin when the historic protests for public employees’ rights began in February. CWA’s phone and internet “town hall” helps bring members together nationally to discuss such struggles. Visit www.cwaaction.org to register for the call. Prior to the event, you’ll receive an email with call-in instructions.
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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. Please feel free to forward this memo to your colleagues. Anyone may subscribe to the Monday Memo.

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