Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of December 08, 2014

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UC Berkeley students, staff and others angered over police killings in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City, demonstrated late into the night Saturday, as thousands marched from the historical birthplace of the Free Speech Movement – Sproul Plaza – through city streets and back to the student district south of campus. While the vast majority participants were peaceful, they faced tear gas and, reportedly, rubber bullets from police. The Daily Californian’s coverage focuses on UC students’ involvement, while the New York Times, Oakland’s KTVU and Berkeleyside.com include detailed accounts and even a photo gallery. Berkeley protest
UCB students and others demonstrate against police killings
Berkeleyside.com reports that the city’s mayor, Tom Bates, found the use of tear gas to be “questionable” and directed the police to “back off” during a second night of protests Sunday. Berkeley’s chancellor, Nicholas Dirks, offered his “sympathy” to those who had been injured or whose property had been damaged in the clashes, according to Inside Higher Ed. Stanford University students have also been conducting marches on the police killings, such as this one, reported by the Palo Alto Patch.

Reflecting another round of frustration with proposed tuition increases "and fat executive pay at the University of California," two state senators have introduced a bill to “wrest control of decision-making at UC and end its 166 years of autonomy," reports the San Francisco Chronicle. UC spokesman Steve Montiel said the proposals was “not constructive,” and argued that "the university is already accountable to lawmakers," according to the Associated Press.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins is calling for "a line-item review of the entire system’s expenditures," notes John Myers, in discussing on KQED News whether UC's "rare" independent status should be revoked.

Reporting on the annual CalFacts guide to the state's economy published by the Legislative Analyst's Office, the Sacramento Bee notes that more than half of the state’s $108 billion budget “flowed to K-12 schools and colleges," and "a third of the 354,000-employee state government workforce – which earned a collective $26 billion last year – is employed by the University of California or California State University." Click here for the entire LAO guide.

As the holiday season approaches, Businessweek reports that low wage fast food workers went on strike in 190 cities nationwide, following similar actions from similarly underpaid workers at Walmart late last month.

Good jobs with fair wages and benefits are good for the whole economy. Labor 411’s Cherri Senders writes in the Sacramento Bee that by shopping at those companies this holiday season, consumers can have a direct impact on income inequality. Check out Labor 411’s guide too.

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