Monday Memo

Monday Memo: Week of October 2, 2017

UC is encouraging new employees to ditch the pension and enroll in a risky 401(k) instead. Check out the facts here, and join UPTE and other UC unions in Town Halls at every campus this week to find out why UC’s pension changes are a raw deal for everyone but management.

Meanwhile, coverage of UC’s pension plan in the Los Angeles Times last week “cherry-picked” executive’s benefits over those of frontline employees, according to UC professor and union activist Chris Newfield on the Remaking the University blog. Newfield says the vast majority of UC pensions provide modest retirement incomes for university workers, such as the average $33,000 pension for a UC professional/support staffer. A range of reactions to the piece was also published in the Times, including one from a UCB professor.

The state of California’s Public Employment Relations Board has upheld UPTE’s request to fold UC system administrators into the technical (TX) bargaining unit. System administrators share much in common with UPTE-represented techs and it is appropriate to include them in the TX unit, PERB held.

Your help is needed to encourage Governor Jerry Brown to sign new legislation to stop off-shoring of UC jobs. The bill, AB848, was passed by the Legislature and is awaiting the governor’s signature. Write to him here.

UPTE Davis members advocate for fair pay, pensions

Public sector unions across the US are bracing themselves for a decision in an anti-union case, which the US Supreme Court agreed to hear last week, report the Sacramento Bee and the Washington Post. The case, Janus v. AFSCME, could remove the right of unions to collect fair share fees to support bargaining for all represented employees. More on the case, which is expected to be decided by next summer, from the New York Times, Slate and the American Association of University Professors.


Adjunct professors have been called the “fast-food workers of the academic world.” Paid by the job and lacking regular positions, job security or benefits, these academic workers often struggle to make ends meet. In some cases, they don’t, and they go homeless. This article reports on one adjunct professor who has turned to sex work to help pay her bills.


Free speech on campus: the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat and New Yorker weigh in with opinion pieces to put the issue in context.

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