Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of October 01, 2012

AFSME rally
AFSCME rally at UCLA Medical Center (09/27/12). Photo: www.afscme3299.org

Gov. Brown signed legislation Thursday that would give students at UC and CSU free digital access to over 50 core textbooks. SB1052 creates a council of faculty members to determine the courses and approval process, while SB1053 creates the California Digital Open Source Library to hold the texts.

Brown also signed AB970, which takes effect Jan. 1 and requires the regents to consult with students before they can raise tuitions, publicly justify the increases, and wait three months to institute the increases.

News stories on the supposed groundswell of popular anger demanding cutbacks in the pensions of public employees should be taken with a large grain of salt. Recent polls found that a majority of Californians believe the pension cuts were balanced or went too far.

Pointing out that “at age 60, after 20-plus years of hard work, we will retire with permanent injuries, unaffordable healthcare and an average retirement income of $18,000/year,” AFSCME Local 3299 president Kathryn Lybarger appealed for student support in the UCSB Daily Nexus for service workers’ picketing.

It’s now illegal for bosses and administrators to demand that employees or students surrender the passwords to their social media sites. After a series of cases across the country in which bosses demanded the passwords from their employees, the California Legislature passed bills protecting workers and students from such invasions of their privacy. Gov. Brown signed the bills last week.

A new study about the health effects of job insecurity finds that "perceived job insecurity was linked with 'significantly higher odds' of fair or poor self-reported health as well as recent symptoms suggesting depression and anxiety attacks." One co-author said "It's a growing problem in the United States over the last several decades because a lot of job creation has been in insecure jobs and jobs without benefits."
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