| For the Week of June 25, 2012
Activists in the United Auto Workers, which represents UC graduate student employees, report that the forthcoming state budget will include tuition freezes for both UC and CSU – but only if Californians approve the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act initiative in November.
UPTE-CWA is urging employees to support the initiative, and to register to vote if they haven’t yet. “New revenues are critical to sustain adequate staffing levels. Recent cuts threaten the high quality services we provide in support of the mission of the University,” the union wrote in a message to administrative professionals (APs) last week. UC’s 16,000 APs are currently organizing with UPTE so that they can join the 80,000 unionized employees who are working to save public education in California.
“Deeply disheartening, but not surprising” was the judgment in a San Francisco Chronicle editorial about the news that UCLA’s Anderson School of Management was going completely private. “This is in direct opposition to the mission of public universities,” objected the Chronicle, which also pointed out that privatization will not guarantee lower tuition, but instead encourages the university to raise tuition rates to what private schools charge. The Chronicle’s business columnist, Andrew Ross, also wrote about the issue and how it may affect other UC business schools.
The attack on public employee pensions is now coming around to UC. Spurred by conservative groups like “Californians for Fiscal Responsibility,” recent articles have appeared in the Washington Post and the local press following a familiar formula: stir up hostility against public employees by focusing on top-tier pensioners who are completely unrepresentative of the great majority of retired UC workers.
At the last arraignment of the felony labor code charges against UCLA and Professor Patrick Harran in June 7 concerning the death of lab worker Sheri Sangji, the judge again posponed the case to give the Los Angeles district attorney's office and UC time to negotiate.