Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of April 28, 2014

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Today, April 28, is International Workers' Memorial Day, when workers commemorate those who die in workplace "incidents" or from occupational diseases and renew our efforts for safe workplaces. California events for this day and week can be found here. Workers Memorial Day was started by the Canadian Union of Public Employees in 1984, and ultimately adopted by the US and many countries on all continents. In 2002 the United Nations adopted April 28 as World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

UC Riverside’s Student Senate has voted to support a resolution to divest from US companies profiting from Israel’s occupation, while UCSB’s Associated Student Senate has done the opposition, voting not to divest.
Sheri Sangji
In remembrance of Sheri Sangji,
Workers' Memorial Day 2014

The gender-neutral restrooms and lactation stations negotiated by the UC’s academic workers union (UAW 2850) are covered in Slate.

UC president Janet Napolitano has written an op-ed in the Washington Post on “how to diversify a campus in spite of the Supreme Court.” 

An article in this month's journal of the American Medical Association warns about conflicts of interest between university officials who also sit on boards of health care corporations, reports the Los Angeles Times. This follows a $10 million settlement over a whistleblower lawsuit by a UCLA head of orthopedic surgery, who became concerned about close ties between UCLA doctors and manufacturers of medical devices. The lawsuit has prompted calls by a consumer watchdog group for independent investigations by state officials. 

How transparent are public sector pension investments? That's the question raised in a report prepared by the union representing North Carolina's public sector unions. North Carolina's pension funds are the seventh largest in the nation. As columnist Dave Sirota notes in Salon, the report found that it was impossible to answer basic questions about who manages the money and what it's invested in. At the same time, fees charged by the Wall Street investment firms have skyrocketed.
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