|For the Week of June 17, 2013
The state legislature has passed a $96.3 billion budget over the weekend. In addition to preparing for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, the budget includes a “middle-class scholarship” that would award tuition breaks of up to 40 percent for California students attending either the UC or CSU systems, whose families make no more than $150,000 per year. Each university system will receive increases of $125 million over last year’s budgets. Governor Jerry Brown dropped his proposal to condition money for public higher education on improved graduation rates, increased enrollment of low-income students, and a four-year tuition freeze. Budget highlights are here.
When times get tough, apparently people in jobs that aren't traditionally unionized decide that they need to work together to protect their jobs and their professions. White collar workers are among the fastest-growing groups to decide that a better future may lie with a union card. More than fighting for just wages and respect for white collar workers, unions are increasingly becoming key to protecting the rights of LGBT workers.
The United Auto Workers Local 2865, representing graduate student instructors, readers and other academic workers, held a “people’s public forum” to discuss demands including smaller class sizes, quality health care and affordable university housing. The demands were to be raised at a public comment meeting regarding contract negotiations with UAW, but UC rescheduled the meeting at the last moment, leading to an impromptu protest by UAW.