Monday Memo

Monday Memo: Week of September 18, 2017

Thanks to all who helped support it, the stop offshoring-abuse bill or AB 848 is now on the governor's desk for signature. The bill grew out of the fight over nearly IT 100 jobs that UCSF contracted out to an India-based company.

UCB IT workers participating in a day of solidarity
UCB IT workers participating in a day of solidarity.

UC has been trying to lure employees into its 401(k)-style plan and out of the pension plan with promises of better returns and more control. The problem is that 401(k)s – at UC they're known as 403(b)s – move all the risks onto the employee's shoulders, providing inferior benefits than a standard pension. See for yourself with UPTE's retirement calculator, which allows you to compare returns of the standard UCRP (UC Retirement Plan) pension versus a 401(k)-style plan. Learn more at upcoming UC Union Coalition town halls.

Workers may not benefit from 401(k)s as much as from UCRP, but someone does. "Welfare for Wall Street: fees on retirement accounts" shows how retirement fund managers are lining their pockets with fees from individual retirement accounts.

Under the in-house management of UC's chief investment office, endowments have gone up and the pension plan's rate of return has reached 14.5%, better than it did under an outside management company. In response, the UC Regents approved a "$1 million bonus for CIO Jagdeep Singh Bachher" on top of his $652,454 base salary.

In the wake of the Trump administration's rescinding of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, universities are working to protect their Dreamers, from UC suing over the ending the of program, to dozens of Boston-area professors getting arrested to show their opposition to the move.

Concrete barriers, a huge police presence, and more than $600,000 in security measures meant that last Thursday's talk at UC Berkeley by right wing extremist Ben Shapiro went off without problems. The talk was one in a series that suggest hate groups have stepped up their recruiting on college campuses, Newsweek reports. Meanwhile, Mother Jones  writes that a week of such activity at Berkeley in late September looks unlikely as student sponsors haven't completed basic requirements.

A UC Berkeley cop confiscated money from a sidewalk food vendor who police said was operating without a permit, and a video of the incident has gone viral amid charges of a police shakedown and promises of an investigation by the university. Outrage over the incident prompted an online fundraising campaign that raised $36,000 for the vendor.

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