Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of December 4, 2017
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Hundreds of grad students and their supporters rallied at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, and other campuses across the country last week to protest new Republican tax legislation, reports BerkeleysideSacramento Bee and CNN. The House GOP plan would reclassify fee waivers as “income” and then tax it, causing grad students’ taxes to rise about 61 percent. Many fear they will be unable to afford their studies, according to the UC Student Workers Union, which issued this press release. UC students are demanding to know how the university will respond if the tax plan is approved.

UCB grad students demonstrate against GOP tax bill. Photo: UC Student Workers Union.UCB grad students demonstrate again GOP tax bill. Photo: UC Student Workers Union.

UC president Janet Napolitano is “on notice” and her office “will need to straighten up its affairs,” said the Los Angeles Times in a December 2 editorial over continuing fallout from the state audit scandal. Investigations yielded insufficient evidence to show that Napolitano was directly involved in tampering with campuses’ responses to the state auditor’s survey, but did suggest that she was not in control of staff in her office and exercised bad judgment.

UC officials traveled to Santa Fe last week to meet with the University of New Mexico, New Mexico Tech, Santa Fe Community College and a representative with the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities in seeking to continue its management of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The lab’s management is an issue because of “safety and operational lapses over the past several years,” reports the Santa Fe New Mexican, as well as “persistent management problems [that] contributed to the Energy Department’s decision not to renew Los Alamos National Security’s management contract in late 2015.”

A surprise Oakland court reversal set back the hopes of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory retirees who had expected to be eligible for UC retiree health benefits until a for-profit consortium took over the lab’s management in 2008. The retirees had filed a lawsuit against the University in 2010, maintaining that the loss of UC health care was “a violation of promises made during their careers” at the lab. In 2014 the judge had certified the case as a class action, which he overruled in November. It is not yet known whether the retirees will appeal.

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