Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of April 04, 2016
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Public sector union members coast to coast breathed a sign of relief last week as the 8-member Supreme Court handed them a major victory on the anti-union Friedrichs case, reports the New York Times. “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court,” the decision read simply, according to the SCOTUS blog’s page on the case, meaning that the pro-union decision from a lower court would stand and public sector unions can continue – for now – to collect “fair share fees” from non-members for collective bargaining costs.

But the anti-union forces that brought the case say they’ll wait, biding their time until, they hope, the court again has a conservative majority, while unions pledge to step up organizing, reports the Guardian.

fight for 15
NYC Rally and March to raise the minimum wage

Huge victories for workers this week as the states of California, New York and Pennsylvania passed bills raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, as reported in the Washington Post, the New York Daily News and the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere.

UC has been admitting thousands of out-of-state students with lower grades and test scores than state residents “as a way to raise cash,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle, according to a state audit that has provoked an outcry in the media. Although UC president Janet Napolitano blames reduced state funding, the audit says “UC’s failure to reduce its costs ... is at the heart of its troubles,” pointing to “UC’s generosity with raises” and executive compensation.

UCSF is under pressure for violating the rights of immigrant janitors, who have teamed up with UC’s largest union, AFSCME 3299, representing service and crafts workers. First the state’s Public Employment Relations Board issued a complaint against UCSF for unlawful retaliation against the janitors (which we previously reported). Now San Francisco city supervisors are calling UCSF “an unethical employer” and condemning “its treatment of the mostly Chinese workers,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

UPTE-CWA-represented stagehands at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall/Cal Performances are petitioning for “support to achieve fair working conditions and compensation,” specifically to restore career staff petitions and to provide overtime pay for working more than eight hours in a single day. Ninety percent of the stagehands are now considered part-time permanent “temps,” who receive “no benefits, seniority, or path to career advancement despite tenures of 5–15 years and more.”

A new study finds that retirement savings for 100 chief executives are equal to the funds held in the retirement accounts of 41 percent of all U.S families, reports Bloomberg. Don’t miss the April 29 deadline for CWA’s Joe Beirne Foundation scholarships for the 2016-2017 school year. Fifteen winners are selected by lottery to receive partial college scholarships of up to $3,000 each, as well as second-year scholarships of the same amount. Get the details here.

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