Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of August 13, 2012

Monopoly Man UC’s annual systemwide report on compensation is out. According to UC, pay for many UC employees is “significantly below market,” while salary increases for non-union employees – among them, administrative professionals – have been minimal or non-existent since 2008. The “Pass/Fail” education blog of public radio station KPCC reported that this parallels a similar study in 2009. Said UC spokesperson Diane Klein, “If you don't pay people what they're worth, they're going to go somewhere else, and then we all suffer." (That’s what UPTE has been saying all along!)

Related to the UC report, the Sacramento Bee has published the 2011 searchable salary database for UC, covering gross pay for all UC employees. The university’s payroll grew by 6 percent last year, from $10 billion to $10.6 billion, which UC attributed to a combination of factors that included restoration of furlough reductions. About one-third of the funding for salaries in 2011 came from hospital fees. At least 22 UC employees made more than $1 million, most of them coaches and doctors.

“Every day, we help educate tomorrow's leaders, support the world's top researchers and scholars, and enrich lives with our libraries, museums, performing arts and outreach programs,” writes UPTE’s Administrative Professional Organizing Committee. “But California's budget crisis places the University's missions at risk….this year, we are supporting a ‘yes’ vote on the governor’s Schools and Public Safety Protection Act (Proposition 30) that would raise billions of dollars annually for public services, including higher education.” Learn more about this crucial intiative here.

A group of administrative professionals in the Boston schools – its “special education coordinators” – have won an arbitration worth $2 million in extra pay for overtime hours. After dozens of their clerical support staff were laid off, the coordinators (who are members of the Boston Teachers’ Union) picked up the slack by working overtime each week, out of a “sense of duty and professionalism,” noted the arbitrator. Asked how the additional duties had affected her, one coordinator said: “Short of having a nervous breakdown, you mean? It was very difficult to do my job, which was a full-time job, and then take on a huge piece of some[one] else’s job.”

In the wake of felony charges by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office against UC for labor code violations that led to the 2009 death of UCLA lab worker and UPTE member Sheri Sangji, Chemical & Engineering News reports that, as part of a settlement dropping charges against the UC regents, the university has added a new position for a laboratory safety manager to be part of the Office of the President. UCOP’s director of environment, heath and safety said the position “will assist campuses in implementing system-wide laboratory safety initiatives” as specified in the settlement. Felony charges against UCLA chemistry professor Patrick Harran, in whose lab Sangji worked, are still pending.

UC Merced will implement a system in the spring semester to allow Indian students to pay tuition with rupees.
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