Monday Memo

Monday Memo: Week of September 11, 2017

UCSF’s off-shoring of information technology (IT) jobs came in for intense criticism earlier this year, as management signed a contract with an India-based corporation and laid off nearly a hundred workers and forced them to train their replacements. State legislators have responded with AB 848, the "Stop Offshoring Abuse" bill, which would prevent such practices at UC and the California State University.

The bill is now at a critical stage and needs your immediate action. Take a moment to send this email to your senators asking them to support this legislation.

San Franciscans in support of Dreamers
San Franciscans in support of Dreamers (photo by David Bacon).

UC sued the Trump administration on Friday over its cancellation of the DACA program, (or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which allows undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children to work and get an education. In a press statement, UC president Janet Napolitano wrote that cancelling DACA was “nothing more than unreasoned executive whim,” adding that UC has some 4,000 undocumented students (many of whom have DACA), as well as “teachers, researchers and health care providers who are DACA recipients.”

It was surprising, therefore, when UC’s bargaining team, at the negotiating table with UPTE for researchers, techs and health care professionals a few days before, summarily rejected the union’s proposal to add immigration status to the list of nondiscrimination criteria in UPTE’s contract. UPTE’s chief bargainer, UC Davis health care worker Jamie McDole, posted the update on Facebook, with this question directed at UC: “Do you or do you not support equal rights and treatment of individuals, regardless of immigration status?”

UPTE has taken a strong position against Trump’s rescinding of DACA. JOIN US by taking action against this cruel attack here.

The DACA news came just a day after California colleges said they’d fight the administration’s plans to undo federal Title IX protections against sexual assault and harassment, according to the Los Angeles Times.

UC is not alone in trying squeeze employees out of pension plans and into 401(k) plans. This piece by the UC Berkeley Labor Center published in the Los Angeles Times notes that states across the country have been pushing education workers into 401(k)-like plans – and that those plans provide 40% less retirement income on average than a regular pension plan.

The recent state audit shows that UC also is squeezing its lowest-paid workers by its “use and abuse of low-wage contractors” and “remains determined to outsource as many jobs as it can,” claims AFSCME Local 3299 president Kathryn Lybarger in a guest commentary in the Los Angeles Daily News.

The recent battles on university campuses over “free speech” aren’t that at all, but an attack on higher education, according to an essay in Salon by Penn State professor Sophia McClellan.

The rollback of workers’ rights under the Trump administration is profound, writes The Nation’s Helaine Olen. The attacks have come against fair pay, safer workplaces, and nondiscrimination, most by reversing rules and regulations in government agencies.

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