Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of April 21, 2014

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UAW Local 2865, representing UC’s academic student employees, has filed unfair labor practice charges against UC over the arrest of 22 students at UC Santa Cruz at the beginning of a two-day strike earlier this month. The Daily Californian reports that the charges concern what the union calls “intimidation tactics,” such as management’s filming of protests, and illegally asking student workers if they were planning to strike.
The UAW also won agreement from UC from all-gendered bathrooms and lactation stations, which a union rep told the San Diego Free Press is aimed at helping create a workplace culture “supportive of student-parents.” UCSD student workers strikeUCSD student workers on strike earlier this month (Cynthia Vazquez, photo)
Writing in Inside Higher Ed about accelerating unionization in higher education, a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley suggests that "public officials, policy makers, corporate leaders, legislators and especially educators ... take a second look at why academic institutions are proving fertile grounds for organizing efforts."

Last week, we noted the Center for Investigative Reporting's further coverage of UCLA's approval of "lavish travel and entertainment expenses by its top academic officials" even after issuing new travel guidelines. On April 14, the Daily Bruin published a letter from a UCLA executive vice chancellor claiming that the center’s reporting "misrepresents UCLA funding realities."

The complaints about UC Care, the new medical plan introduced this year to replace Anthem Blue Cross, continue to pile up at this online blog run by UC professors Michael Meranze and Chris Newfield. One UCSB employee writes, “So far this year, my out-of-pocket expenses (NOT including monthly premiums, co-pays…or medications) are $3250 more than what they would have been under my prior 2013 Anthem Blue Cross Plus coverage.”

The UC system has admitted more Latinos than whites for the first time, reflecting shifts in the state’s demographics. It also offered admission to more than 3,000 out-of-state students. Out-of-state students pay more tuition: for every 100 out-of-state students, UC gets $2.2 million in additional revenue. Increasing numbers of out-of-state students have made it harder for California students to get admission to UC, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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