Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of March 19, 2012

Despite tight budgets, the UC system "has more than 200 building projects under way at its 10 campuses and five medical centers, together valued at $8.9 billion." Similarly, "$161 million worth of new construction is going up" in the CSU system. Allegedly construction funds are kept in separate accounts and "can’t be used for expenses such as increasing salaries or enrollment."

In a letter to the provost, UC Berkeley professors call for firing an administrator who was punished by a reassignment after "she improperly gave raises to an employee with whom she was having a sexual relationship."

UCB Chancellor Birgeneau announced his retirement last week, after 8 years at the campus. As campus constituencies speculate on who might be next in the job, Professor Emeritus Charles Schwartz suggests a new way of deciding: “occupy the process” by inviting candidates to appear in person to engage in discourse with the Berkeley community at an Occupy-like general assembly, then take an open vote on who should get the job.

Inside Higher Ed reports that most of a long-awaited report on the UC Davis pepper spraying case will be made public. A judge last week lifted a temporary restraining order on most of the investigative report, which detailing what happened when a UCD police officer doused a row of peaceful protestors with pepper spray. Video of the scene drew worldwide attention after it went viral on the web.

Si se puede!
Photo by Frank Pinto
The AFL-CIO is calling for an across-the-board raise in Social Security, to shore up the system that has done the best job of providing retirement security to millions of Americans. Responding to recent comments from presidential candidates, the AFL-CIO reiterated its position that women must have the right to quality health care, including access to contraception.

Workers at the Pacifica Radio network are sounding the alarm, after stewards of their CWA local found out that their employer has hired a notorious union-busting legal firm, Jackson Lewis. The 5-station radio network includes KPFA 94.1 FM in Berkeley and KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, and is a major independent source of progressive news and analysis.

Thousands of public sector workers are on strike today in Germany, part of a series of strikes moving around the country as the ver.di union is trying to negotiate wage increases for 2 million workers. Rolling strikes are expected to continue ahead of talks scheduled for the end of the month.

Want to hear what your UC coworkers are saying about UPTE-CWA’s administrative professionals organizing campaign? Check out this Facebook page.
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