Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of July 16, 2012

The regents are warning that tuition at UC could rise 20 percent if Gov. Brown’s “Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act,” Proposition 30 on the November ballot, is not approved. The initiative raises sales tax by one-quarter of one percent but generates most of its revenue through increases taxes on those making more than $250,000. The $2,500 tuition increase would take effect in January if the initiative fails. You can read more on this UPTE Fact Sheet on Proposition 30.

Berkeley’s student-run newspaper, Daily Californian, agrees: "A 20.3 percent mid-year tuition increase" is likely if the governor's tax initiative fails. The regents Committee on Finance agenda July 17 also notes that failure would mean “UC will receive another $250 million budget cut and the funding for the 2012-13 tuition increase buyout would no longer be available, creating another $125.4 million gap, for a total shortfall of $375.4 million,” bringing the total funding cut by the state in a two-year period to an “overwhelming” $1 billion.

UCSB faculty member Chris Newfield, writing on the blog Remaking the University, says UC, and the rest of California’s educational sector, has become a “political football” in state budget negotiations.

Students and staff will be having some zombie fun at their planned protest at the UC Regents meeting this Wednesday (July 18) at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus. Public comment starts at 8:30am.

Another important initiative on the November ballot is Proposition 32 (the so-called "Paycheck Protection" Initiative.) Brian Leubitz of Calitics exposed why Tea Partiers love Prop 32, which leaves open huge loopholes for billionaires to spend in SuperPACs, while stifling the voices of labor and working Californians.
Tax Millionaires

And those voices are crucial if we are to stem the trend toward greater income inequality in the US. This chart, by the Economic Policy Institute shows clearly how levels of unionization are closely linked with income inequality. In other words, build your union to create a more economically just nation.

According to a Field Poll released last week, "California voters are not overly concerned about the level of pension benefits for public employees, and oppose stripping collective bargaining rights from public-sector unions,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

A coalition of listeners and workers at Pacifica Radio’s KPFA has won a long list of labor and community endorsement of its campaign to recall an anti-union board member, according to a blog at the California Federation of Labor. Current KPFA listener-members have until August 3 to return their ballots. The station’s workers are represented by one of UPTE-CWA’s sister locals, CWA 9415.

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