Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of February 10, 2014

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UC is working on revising its tuition policy, reflecting President Napolitano's belief "that, especially at a public university, tuition must be affordable for all students and their families,” reports the UCLA Daily Bruin. Napolitano was also interviewed by the Bay Area NBC affiliate about reviving the UC system.

The UC Student Workers’ Union (SWU), representing 12,000 teaching assistants, tutors and readers at the university systemwide, has filed a charge with the state Public Employment Relations Board over class sizes. The SWU, which is affiliated with the United Auto Workers, has been bargaining with UC since last summer, and its contract expired at the end of the year. The SWU contends that class size is a matter of working conditions, but UC claims it is an academic issue rather than bargaining issue.

Berkeley’s Daily Californian reports that UC says it will “rescind its current offer" to UC patient-care and service workers represented by AFSCME 3299 if members authorize a strike this week, which the union's attorney alleges is unlawful and coercive. Meanwhile, AFSCME’s president writes in the Sacramento Bee today that 99% of UC’s service workers are “income eligible for some form of public assistance.”

Inside Higher Ed reports that UCLA has revised its travel guidelines in the wake of an investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting, which found executives bending travel rules to fly in business or first class and staying in luxury hotels.

UC Berkeley’s funding solution, largely devised by engaged faculty, to keep its libraries up and running after management threatened massive closures, is covered this week in Inside Higher Ed.

UCB library study-in
Berkeley anthropology professor Paul Rabinow (standing, far left) participating in a study-in. Photo by Craig Anderson
In the face of a precipitous enrollment drop by African Americans and Latinos in California’s colleges, state senator Ed Hernandez has introduced a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would repeal Proposition 209 and permit considerations of race, sex, or ethnicity by the UC and CSU systems. If the measure passes the Legislature, it will go to voters within two years.

California community colleges may begin offering bachelors’ degrees "in high-need areas," such as health professions, information technology, and law enforcement.

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