Got the Monday blues? Start your week off right with a helping of useful information and informed opinion.
This is the first issue of the Monday Memo, which will cover developments surrounding UC’s budget and the new furlough plan. To subscribe, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will only get one email a week from the Monday Memo on this list.
A coalition of staff, faculty and students demonstrating their opposition to the UC furlough plan at the July regents meeting were featured on dozens of media outlets across the state, from the San Francisco Chronicle to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Union workers kicked off a press conference with state Senator Leland Yee, who said the regents should instead tap their healthy, unrestricted reserves of over $6 billion.
At that same meeting, the regents quietly approved dozens of compensation increases for top administrators. Some were appointed at salaries from 11% to 59% higher than their predecessors, and several new highly paid positions were created. Others were given “administrative stipends” ranging from $24,000 to $58,625 on top of their existing salaries, without any extra duties.
National Public Radio stations broadcast comments from UPTE’s president about employees’ reaction to the raises, while UC’s spokesperson justified the stipends, saying some execs got them for taking on parts of colleagues’ duties. When is the last time you got compensated for taking on extra work?
Over one thousand UC faculty have signed an open letter opposing the furloughs. The systemwide Council of UC Faculty Associations has challenged the legality of the Yudof’s plan.
Protecting non-faculty jobs from layoffs is essential, according to a Berkeley professor who published a Los Angeles Times op ed. The science journal Nature [accessible from UC computers only] noted that UC’s furloughs have already driven several highly esteemed researchers to move their work to other institutions. A columnist in the Atlantic Online reflected on UC Berkeley’s long history of excellence and worried about its decline as a public institution in the wake of budget cuts.
President Yudof was on the hot seat for the first part of KQED Radio’s Forum, but didn’t stick around for the rest of the hour, which was a lively exchange of ideas between many of UC’s constituencies about executive pay, transparency and the value of public education.
Please feel free to forward this memo to your colleagues.
If you haven’t asked your coworkers to sign a commitment card for the union, please do so today. All administrative professionals are also welcome to become members of UPTE, with all the associated rights and benefits.