Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of April 09, 2012

Three UCLA students, including the president of the graduate students’ union (UAW 2865) were arrested last week as the UC regents meeting came to a close in San Francisco. The arrests came after the public comment period, reports the Daily Bruin, where students, staff and faculty from the University of California community spoke out against tuition increases and what they called the board’s “undemocratic” behavior.

UC Berkeley’s chancellor has taken “full responsibility” for his police officers over-reaction last November 9, when students, staff and faculty demonstrated in solidarity with the Occupy movement and in opposition to the ongoing privatization of the UC. The incident, captured on videotape, sparked international outrage as nonviolent protestors were dragged to the ground and hit with batons. While the chancellor offered amnesty to all under the campus code of conduct, his police force forwarded cases to the district attorney, recommending charges for 12 students and one professor. Today through Wednesday, supporters are writing to and calling the Alameda County DA
to ask her to drop those charges.

UPTE members in Sacramento for the National Day
UPTE members in Sacramento for the National Day
of Action on Education
Meanwhile, health and safety activists are signing this petition to the Los Angeles DA demanding more than a slap on the wrist for the negligence that cost UC lab worker Sheri Sangji her life in January 2009 as a result of a preventable lab fire 18 days earlier. On April 11, the defendants (the UC Regents, UCLA and Professor Patrick Harran) may finally be arraigned after three earlier continuances. A plea bargain, not a trial, is expected. More information is available on UPTE’s website.

The Sacramento Bee reports that the UC regents took steps last week to limit the pensions of its highest compensated executives after those execs threatened to sue UC over what they called “broken promises.”
A new report on California’s community colleges says that hundreds of thousands of students are being frozen out of community colleges due to a lack of funding. The “completion agenda” puts a heavy emphasis on workforce development, at the cost of academic quality.

New data show that people over 60 still owe a whopping $36 billion in student loans. That’s according to the blog Common Dreams, citing research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The unpaid loans that seniors hold come from their original days in college, loans for mid-career education, and co-signing loans for younger family members. Federal legislation in 2005 removed student loans from bankruptcy coverage, so the debts may literally follow them to the end of their lives.

The Bay Citizen reports that one of the oldest student newspapers in the nation, the 141-year-old Daily Californian, is facing a crushing deficit of $200,000. The newspaper and website are independently run by UC Berkeley students, who hope that a fee of $2 per semester per student will pass by referendum this spring, saving the paper.

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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