Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of January 26, 2015

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Doctors at all 10 University of California student health centers, represented by the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, will hold a one-day unfair labor practices strike on Tuesday – "the first time in 25 years that fully licensed doctors have gone on strike against a U.S. employer," according to San Diego 6 News. UPTE members are encouraged to support the strike during breaks or non-work hours. Here’s more information and a list of picket times and locations.

Retired UCOP budget director Michael Rancer is blowing the whistle on the failing UC Care medical plan, calling the recent actions of UC management and plan administrator Blue Shield a “huge blunder” which “borders on fraud” in an email circulating among employees and retirees.
In early January, UC Care quietly announced that its Northern California members would lose access to Sutter Health, the medical/hospital group that provides a huge portion of that plan’s care.

UPTE celebrated the 25th anniversary of its founding at our annual convention. The convention featured educational workshops, panel presentations on retiree health benefits and reinvesting in California’s public higher education, a tribute to UPTE’s history, and robust discussions setting the direction for UPTE’s next year. Thanks to the Davis UPTE chapter for hosting us in Sacramento!

UPTE-CWA 25th Annual Convention
UPTE-CWA 25th Annual Convention. Photo by Vanessa Tait.

This week the UC regents are expected to approve a suggestion to set up "a two-person advisory committee" consisting of Governor Brown and UC president Napolitano" to resolve differences over state funding and tuition hikes, says Reuters.

One item "they might want to check out" when they "sit down to go over UC’s finances," claim San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, is "the university’s new $220 million payroll system [UCPath] that’s 18 months behind schedule and tens of millions of dollars over budget – with no solution in sight."

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks has proposed that UC Berkeley "create a global higher education hub" at the Richmond Bay site known as the Richmond Field Station, reports Inside Higher Ed. The chancellor "has laid out a broad educational vision for a 'Global College,'" to be developed by "a group of leading foreign universities and technology companies" with the aim of equipping students “with the tools to tackle global challenges through a curriculum centered on global governance, ethics, and political economy; cultural and international relations.”

A policy that would have tied the evaluation and bonuses of UC coaches and athletic directors to their students' academic performance has been tabled by the Board of Regents because of concerns "that it did not go far enough in establishing academic standards for incentive pay," reports the Sacramento Bee. The policy had been adopted last month by President Napolitano. Governor Brown and Lt. Gov. Newsom were among the regents who expressed concerns about the policy.

"Fifteen California community colleges, including two in the Bay Area, are poised to be the first in the state to offer low-cost bachelor's degrees after a historic shift in California law," reports the San Jose Mercury News. They cannot duplicate programs "that are already being offered at other nearby state schools [or] provide four-year nursing degrees," notes the Los Angeles Times.


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