Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of December 12, 2011

The San Diego Union Tribune reports that UCSD students forced open the doors of a shuttered campus library last week, vowing to hold it through finals week. “They’re putting the budget cuts on the students’ backs,” said student Caesar Feng. “Why do budget cuts have to be on the libraries? Why not on the excess administration?”

UC Davis Occupy activists have quietly dismantled their tent camp, three weeks after campus police sprayed pepper spray into the faces of non-violent protestors, injuring several. Students, faculty and staff are continuing to discuss the situation, some questioning whether UC police should be armed at all.

There was a storm of controversy last week after UCD chancellor Linda Katehi hired a private contractor to investigate whose head had previously participated in police crackdowns in New York City, Los Angeles and Baghdad. UC Mark Yudof has since named former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso to head a 12-member committee to examine the pepper spray attack.  

UC Riverside’s newly-released protest guidelines have been met with widespread outrage, including from the Coalition of UC Faculty Associations, which believes they are a blatant attempt to abridge students’ right to free speech and dissent. An online petition demanding UCR officials reverse their edict is now circulating on all UC campuses.

Occupy protestors are trying to shut down a string of major West Coast ports today – and have succeeded so far in Oakland and Portland. Protestors say they want to disrupt Wall Street on the Waterfront, where wealthy corporations like Goldman Sachs own some port of the terminals, facilitating the exploitation of immigrant truck drivers and others who are not paid fair wages. In New York City, supporters descended on Goldman Sachs headquarters with a new protest tactic: squidding. For the story behind it, see this piece in today’s Atlantic.

Larry Cohen, the president of UPTE’s national union, CWA, appeared recently on MSNBC’s Ed Show to talk about how the war on workers is fueling the 99% movement. 

Union and student activists have set March 1 as a date for a statewide action, and aim to occupy the Capitol in Sacramento on March 5.

The Sacramento Bee reports that state workers in Vermont have come to agreement on a new contract that restores a 3% take back and raises wages another 2% for 2012 and 2013. The union representing the state workers said it was the first time in decades that employees were able to reach a tentative agreement without having to resort to a mediator or fact-finder.

The union representing 14,000 UC clerical employees says its members have ratified a contract that provides guaranteed 14% in wage increases over 5 years.  

Want to support workers when you go out to eat? This National Diner’s Guide rates 150 of America's most popular eateries on their wage, benefit and promotion practices.   

Confused about the competing state ballot measures that aim to solve educational funding issues? Learn more about the Millionaires Tax to restore education and this column by UC-AFT president Bob Samuels.

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.

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