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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 27, 2011

The results from the UCRS Advisory Board election are in, and UPTE Berkeley member Paul Brooks was the top vote-getter. Monica Martinez, an AFSCME activist, was the third-highest vote-getter.

UC’s lowest-paid maintenance, custodians, and other service workers have been taking the hardest hits from budget cuts, but they are now being pushed even closer to the margins as UC seeks concessions that will reduce their pay and benefits further. Health care benefits are particularly important for these workers, who do repetitive and often injurious work.

Ohio voters are likely to have a chance to repeal the state’s recent law banning unions for most public employees. As of Friday, We Are Ohio had gathered 714,137 signatures – “more than three times the number” needed to place the measure on the fall ballot. Many of the state’s public colleges have unionized faculty.

New Jersey has launched the latest assault against public workers and their unions. The Assembly voted to strip bargaining rights over health care and impose 35 percent increases in health care costs. It would also prohibit cost-of-living raises in pensions for 30 years. CWA president Larry Cohen was one of 25 arrested. CWA has filed suit against Gov. Chris Christie’s attempt to shift pension costs to workers.

Josh Wolf, a recent graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, is working on a proposal to protect the First Amendment rights of student journalists, after his appeal of student conduct charges was rejected late last week. Wolf was charged for violating the student code of conduct during the occupation of Wheeler Hall in November 2009.

Social Security broke? That’s what we’re constantly hearing from the right, but the Koch brothers have been contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to right-wing think tanks to turn out allegedly scholarly papers justifying Social Security’s dismantlement.

Workers at Ikea’s factory in Danville, Virginia, have filed for an election seeking representation by the International Association of Machinists.

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.

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