Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the week of September 12, 2016
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UCSF has signed a $50 million agreement with an “India-based IT services” company called HCL to provide networking and other services, which will result in the layoff of 17% of its 565-member campus IT staff, reports both Computerworld and Campus Technology. The move follows other UCSF contracting out to the Dell corporation in Washington state. Employees quoted anonymously in the article called the moves “troubling” and “insulting,” and said UCSF is “just the ‘first one’ among the campuses to take this route.”  The decision is also under fire from U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and the IEEE-USA, Computerworld reports. 

The return to the Berkeley campus of former law school dean Sujit Choudhry has prompted a student protest, a town hall meeting of the Berkeley law community, and an open letter to students in which Choudhry explains his side of the story. Although Choudhry is not teaching this year, as a tenured faculty member he has a right to use his office to “research, write, and consult at his place of employment,” states his lawyer. According to the Daily Californian, Choudhry faces an into “charges that he violated the Faculty Code of Conduct.” UCB spokesperson Dan Mogulof says faculty are not excluded from campus “while the process is pending.”

UCLA has given cash payouts to two graduate students to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit, reports the Daily Bruin. The “UC Board of Regents agreed to pay one student $350,000 and the other student $110,000. They will also provide one of the students with a dissertation year fellowship in her final year of graduate school.” The suit had alleged that UCLA violated Title IX when dealing with harassment claims. Last year, UCLA created an Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, hired a new Title IX coordinator, and “created peer review committees” to review proposed sanctions for those violating harassment policies.

Part-time faculty at community colleges are in the news this week. The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, and Democracy Now reported on the administration lockout at Long Island University in Brooklyn after faculty there rejected a contract offer. In addition, adjunct faculty members at Seattle University finally had their votes to unionized counted, after management tried to stop the process for two years – and they won, according to the Seattle Times

Meanwhile, at part-time and full-time faculty at the City University of San Francisco recently went on strike for the first time in the school’s 40-year history. The action, writes Labor Notes, involving 9 campuses spread across the city, resulted in a 9.6% retroactive salary increase, and a 10.6% increase for the coming year.

Demanding faster contract negotiations, postdoctoral researchers represented by United Auto Workers 5810 marched to UCLA’s Murphy Hall on August 26, reported the Daily Bruin. The following week, the Daily Californian reported that members voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, accusing the university of “delaying the bargaining process, sending people to the table without the authority to bargain, being unresponsive to several of the union’s requests for information and refusing to honor previous agreements they had made regarding the process for bargaining over postdocs’ health benefits.” The current contract expires on September 30th.

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