Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the week of August 15, 2016
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“I don’t think UCSF has any inkling of what social justice means.” That was the reaction of San Francisco supervisor Norman Yee to UC’s action last week boosting the pay of UCSF executive Mark Laret to more than $1 million even while the administration continued to fight the reinstatement of 24 of its lowest paid workers.

Despite some having worked at UC for decades, 24 janitors lost their jobs earlier this year when UC subcontracted their work to a third party. The move cut their wages nearly in half and eliminated benefits and job stability. UC has agreed to reinstate them, but only as probationary employees. And as the Los Angeles Times noted this week, such subcontracting means the university’s much-heralded $15-per-hour minimum wage is not a reality for some who labor at UC.

UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi resigned under pressure last week amid mounting allegations of fiscal mismanagement and ethics violations. Katehi was chancellor at the time of the infamous pepper spray incident, spending $175,000 to try to erase internet images of the police misconduct after-the-fact, which led the UC Student Association and seven state lawmakers, among others, to call for her ouster, reports CBS News. Katehi was also put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation of alleged nepotism and lying, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The Sacramento Bee expressed relief that she was finally leaving, and the Daily Californian called it “long overdue.”

Federal lawsuits were filed this week by faculty and staff at seven universities over excessive fees and poorly performing 403b retirement plans, which are public and nonprofit sector plans similar to 401ks. The cases against Duke, Johns Hopkins, MIT, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt, and Yale, the New York Times and the Baltimore Sun report, and allege that university executives violated their fiscal responsibilities by choosing 403b plan administrators that wasted enormous amounts of employees’ money.

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