Monday Memo
For the Week of February 13, 2017
A petition to the UC regents to reverse its decision to lay off 79 UCSF IT workers is being circulated by Communications Workers of America, UPTE’s international union affiliate. CWA says, “Good-paying, taxpayer-funded jobs should stay at the University of California and not be sent overseas,” and warns, “IT workers at other campuses are next in line.”

A Riverside Superior Court jury has awarded UC Riverside’s former chief counsel $2.5 million in a judgment that found UCR officials had retaliated against her after she complained about rampant discriminatory behavior by UCR’s executive vice chancellor against her and other women.

IT workers at Regents meeting
California joined 17 other states in a brief supporting Washington and Minnesota in their legal case against Donald Trump's travel ban of immigrants and refugees, specifically citing the University of California’s “500 affected graduate students and 40 affected undergraduates,” and over 1,500 more in the Cal State system. In a “stinging early defeat for the Trump administration,” reports Politico’s Morning Shift, a panel of Ninth District judges unanimously upheld a lower court’s decision to prevent the ban from taking effect. Scores of unions, nonprofits and corporations also filed legal briefs against the ban.

Andrew Puzder, the cabinet nominee for Secretary of Labor, is no friend of working people, says the AFL-CIO. His CKE Restaurants’ wage and hour violations and occupational safety and health violations at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are mapped by the Century Foundation, which support a National Employment Law Project analysis that Puzder “doesn’t view laws and regulations as things that help protect the most vulnerable from exploitation [but] as things that hinder him from doing what he wants to do.” The Washington Post reports that 4 Republican senators may join Democrats to vote against him during hearings this Thursday.

The Communications Workers of America has joined Public Citizen and the Natural Resources Defense Council in filing suit against the president’s executive order to force “federal agencies to repeal two existing regulations for every new regulation proposed or issued,” reports PBS. The suit argues that the “order exceeds [the president’s] constitutional authority and directs federal agencies to illegally repeal regulations needed to protect the health and safety of Americans and the environment.”

The Sacramento Bee has received an award from the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists for its investigation last year of UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi.

Grad students at Loyola University Chicago have voted to unionize under SEIU. This is the third private university in the US at which graduate students have unionized. Loyola, a Jesuit university, argued that it should be exempt from federal labor laws on religious grounds.

Unions, however, and perhaps especially public employee unions, are in for a rough ride with the new administration in Washington and Republican gains in state legislatures. Twenty-eight states are already “right-to-work” states, Iowa Republicans have proposed “sweeping changes to collective bargaining laws, public unions,” and a national right-to-work bill has been introduced in the House. Many people are unaware of “the racist roots of right-to-work laws,” whose newfound popularity is no coincidence.

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