Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of July 31, 2017

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Members of UPTE-CWA’s research and technical units continue to mobilize to support their elected bargaining team. Last week, dozens of union members attended bargaining sessions at UCSD to support their team, and some directly addressed the UC negotiators on key contract changes. Keep track of the #UPTEstrong campaign at the union’s website or Facebook page.

UCSD workers on their way to bargaining

Hot off the press: UPTE’s Update newsletter, where you can learn more about current bargaining especially as it applies to pension benefits. The issue also investigates UC’s stealth attempt to cut retiree health care benefits, and how a state audit’s finding of missing millions in UC’s budget has affected state funding.

About 500 UC workers and students protested the UCLA medical center’s plans to layoff valet service workers on Friday and replace them with students, reports the Daily Bruin. The workers are contracted through an outside company, but are unionized and get benefits. Demonstrators said they believe the workers will be laid off after a pay raise under a 2015 UC plan which requires a $15 an hour minimum. They say UC wants to replace them with student workers with lower wages and no benefits.

Former UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi is back. She was chancellor during the notorious pepper spray incident in 2011, but she was pressured to leave after a series of scandals. She’ll return to UCD as a distinguished professor, paid at the same rate she made as chancellor, appearing to make her the highest paid professor in the departments where she will be teaching. Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) tweeted that "this golden parachute deal is an insult to students and families struggling to afford college."

With UC already under scrutiny for its practice of enrolling so many non-resident students, now UC Irvine is getting heat for abruptly rescinding the admissions of 500 incoming students. The campus cited incomplete transcripts or poor senior year grades as the cause. UCI has apologized to “those who felt ignored or mistreated” and is speeding up its appeals process.

UC has instituted a new policy to remove crime conviction history “from the initial stages of the job application process,” following Berkeley’s change last year. Over 150 cities and counties and 28 states have adopted these policies to “Ban the Box” that indicates a criminal conviction on employment applications so everyone has a fair chance to compete for jobs. UC’s Underground Scholars Initiative was instrumental in both decisions. This group of Berkeley students, who have been personally affected by the criminal justice system, are working to reverse the school-to-prison pipeline.

The Monday Memo is edited by UC administrative professionals working for union representation with UPTE-CWA.

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