Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of April 27, 2015

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“Women faculty at UCLA's Alzheimer's disease research center faced ‘a climate of conflict, tension, hostility and mistrust’ for about a decade,’ and were treated in an ‘unprofessional, demeaning manner,’” reports the Los Angeles Times, after receiving a letter to faculty reporting on an investigation by the UCLA School of Medicine.

“Women still earn a lot less than men” was the headline of a New York Times editorial on Equal Pay Day.  The data show that “men still outearn women at every rung of the income ladder”; among the college educated, “The higher the level of education, the bigger the gap”; “Men even make more than women in traditionally female occupations.” The editorial board concludes, “closing the gender pay gap has basically stalled over the past decade. The longer the gap persists, the less it can be explained away by factors other than discrimination.”

The “fight for $15” campaign got a boost from a new report by the UC Berkeley Labor Center, which shows that “Nearly three-quarters of the people helped by programs geared to the poor are members of a family headed by a worker” (as explained by the New York Times). “As a result,” says the Times, “taxpayers are providing not only support to the poor but also, in effect, a huge subsidy for employers of low-wage workers, from giants like McDonald’s and Walmart to mom-and-pop businesses.” How much state and federal aid goes to working families is shown in the Washington Post.

Coverage of the recent Union of American Physicians and Dentists strike at all UC student health centers can be seen on the UAPD website. On April 13, doctors at UCLA tried to see Chancellor Block for information “regarding how the funding for the recent increases in chancellors’ salaries was allocated and whether the chancellors’ discretionary funds could have been spent on improving student health centers instead,” reported the Daily Bruin.

The state Assembly’s Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance met on April 21 to discuss “changes in the state enrollment-funding process, the lowering of participation rates and the freezing of admission rates for in-state students,” reported the Daily Californian, “amid ongoing budget negotiations between the UC president and the governor.”

UC is delaying release of admission data until next month, reports the Daily Cal, because of “current ambiguity about the level of state funding the UC system will receive.” While a UC spokesperson believes preliminary admissions data are “potentially misleading,” some speculate that UC “is withholding data that would increase unfavorable public sentiment in the context of the budget standoff between UC President Janet Napolitano and Gov. Jerry Brown.” (April 20)

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