For the Week of March 03, 2014
UC’s chief financial officer Peter Taylor has responded to the Orange County Register story we reported on last week, that the university’s "interest rate swaps" were costing it millions of dollars. In a letter to the editor, Taylor writes, “In fact, the swap alternative has saved the university millions of dollars in debt service." An editor's note following Taylor's letter shows the Register stands by its story.
A patient-worker coalition has saved UCSF’s renal center from closing, reports UPTE’s Update. UC was planning to pull out of its management role at the center, run jointly with San Francisco General Hospital and serving many low-income patients, until the community-labor coalition got a San Francisco supervisor to bring public pressure to keep it open.
Last week, 31 current and former UC Berkeley students filed two federal complaints alleging that officials had “discouraged victims from reporting assaults, failed to inform them of their rights and led a biased judicial process that favored assailants' rights over those of their victims,” reports the Los Angeles Times. One complainant said neither the “Department of Education nor UC Berkeley have made the efforts necessary to address the pervasive culture of sexual violence on our campus."
The San Francisco Business Times reports that UC Berkeley raised a record "$3.1 billion over eight years that it will funnel toward scholarships, fellowships, research and other areas.”
UC Online Education is offering a 33 percent tuition reduction as a pilot program for "all faculty, staff, and their spouses and dependents" for nine online courses beginning March 31, according to the Daily Californian.
Following the defeat of the UAW to represent workers at a VW plant in Tennessee, a Los Angeles Times blog published a passionately argued response to the contention that unions are no longer necessary.
Workers in Wisconsin have a personal take on the issue. After the Republican-controlled legislature there passed a 2011 law undermining public sector unions, reports the New York Times, public employees have had their wages frozen, have been stripped of just cause for termination protections, and have seen skyrocketing pension and health care contributions – which has led many to take second jobs or go on food stamps.