Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC
For the Week of January 23, 2017
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In the wake of Donald Trump’s racist ban on Muslim immigrants, refugees, visitors and legal US residents, Janet Napolitano and chancellors of all ten UC campuses issued a statement supporting members of the UC community who are affected. UC officials advised students and faculty from the seven countries banned by the order not to travel outside the US, as they would certainly be refused re-entry.

As unprecedented demonstrations grew at over 30 airports around the nation (see the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Washington Post), a federal judge ordered the ban stayed on Saturday and former president Barack Obama weighed in today.

No offshoring
UCSF IT workers tell the regents to end offshoring plans. Photo by Joe Kahraman.

UCSF IT techs took their fight to the regents’ meeting on Thursday to speak out against UCSF’s contracting out of their positions to an India-based firm. Watch their passionate testimony here. The IT workers stand to lose their jobs to replacements they are being forced to train, reports the Nightly Business Report. Last week, yet another member of Congress joined the long list of lawmakers urging UC to drop its plans to lay off the nearly 100 IT workers.

By a vote of 16 to 4, the regents also approved the first tuition increase since 2010-11. Annual in-state tuition will rise $282 to $11,502. Janet Napolitano defended the increase by saying that campuses are struggling with higher student-faculty ratios, fewer courses, fewer teaching assistants, and overtaxed student services.

Not so fast. The Reclaim California Higher Education Coalition has released The $48 fix: Reclaiming California’s Master Plan for Higher Education, a report produced by a team of experts showing that it is “entirely possible today to provide the same accessible, low-cost university experience that California successfully offered its students” in previous decades.

UC Irvine will become the first campus in the country to switch its entire bus fleet to zero emissions all-electric buses. UCI will buy 20 buses for its Anteater Express service. UC’s 2016 Annual Report On Sustainable Practices examines the successes and challenges of meeting a goal of carbon neutrality by 2025.

A safety and health rule on Beryllium scheduled to go into effect on March 10, which would affect UPTE workers at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Los Alamos National Lab, is likely to be scrapped by the incoming Congress, warns journalist Elizabeth Grossman. Beryllium is a strong, lightweight metal that ‘can be highly toxic when released into the air’ and inhaled, explains Safety and Health magazine. The new rule, which has been in the works for decades, sets a lower short-term exposure limit and other protections.

A new report from the PEW Research Center finds support for unions at a ten-year high, with 60 percent of the public having a favorable view.

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