Week of January 29, 2018
A coalition of UC workers including those represented by UPTE-CWA, AFSCME and the California Nurses Association are mobilizing for informational picket lines this Thursday, February 1 in response to management’s inadequate offers in contract talks. UPTE is also inviting student services and IT professionals to join the rallies, as they face similar problems with management but don’t yet have a voice at the bargaining table.
A new national study finds that workplace wellness programs don’t improve wellness or even save money, according to the Insurance Journal. Over 3,000 University of Illinois employees were given access to a wellness program for the study, and compared to a control group without it. Researchers found “virtually zero benefits,” reports WBUR.
California has paid out “more than $25 million in the past three years to settle sexual harassment against state agencies and public universities,” according to a Sacramento Bee investigation. Taxpayers have covered about $21 million of that, while UC and CSU insurance plans kicked in nearly $4 million.
New York magazine is reporting on a study showing that anti-union legislation decreased Democratic voter turnout up to 3.5 percent. Or as the Nation writes, referring to the same study, “The right’s war on unions is killing the Democratic Party.”
A case now before the Supreme Court, Janus v. AFSCME, could be another blow by preventing unions from collecting fair share fees in support of representing all employees in bargaining. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops sided with unions last week in an amicus brief, citing “papal statements and encyclicals in support of labor rights” dating back to late 1800s, writes the National Catholic Reporter.
The UC regents abruptly postponed a scheduled vote Wednesday on yet another tuition increase. It would have been the second consecutive increase in two years and it provoked strong opposition from Gov. Jerry Brown, legislators, and student leaders.
The US Justice Department is supporting a conservative student group suing UC Berkeley over the appearance of a right-wing speaker on campus, according to the Mercury News.
“A true game-changer in the procurement world”– that’s what UC and the CSU managements say about a new shared software platform called CalUsource for purchasing and contract management. UC claims it will streamline work and cut costs – the same promises made about its UCPath personnel system, which is now four years behind schedule at a cost of over three times its original budget.
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