Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

For the Week of October 05, 2015

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An investigation is underway by federal authorities as to whether a UC Berkeley contractor underpaid cleaning workers at sporting events. Workers say they’ve been working 80 hours a week with no overtime. Last month, the Legislature passed a bill requiring UC contractors to pay the same wages to contract employees as UC employees get. Meanwhile, last week, UC raised the minimum wage for all campus workers to $13 an hour, part of a plan to raise the minimum to $15 per hour by 2017. UC is the state’s third largest employer, after the federal and state governments, and the first public university to establish a $15 minimum wage voluntarily.

Votes are due in a unionization election for adjunct faculty at New York City's Barnard College this week, reports the Columbia Spectator.  Issues include pay and working conditions, as well as "appreciation" for the work contingent faculty do.

The Council of UC Faculty Associations has written a letter protesting Regent Richard Blum's comments threatening action from his wife, Senator Dianne Feinstein, in a debate about what kinds of speech students and staff are allowed to engage in at the University. The proposal was widely criticized, noted the San Francisco Chronicle, the Intercept, and other publications, and ultimately rejected by the Board of Regents.

A federal district court has thrown out a case targeting public sector union “fair share” fees, Bain v. California Teachers Association. The suit was brought by a group of teachers who didn’t want to pay union fees to cover bargaining costs which benefited them, similar to another case now at the Supreme Court, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which seeks to undermine well-established agency shop laws across the nation.

UPTE’s national union, the Communications Workers of America, is polling members about which candidates to endorse in the 2016 presidential race. If you are a member of UPTE-CWA Local 9119, you can register your “vote” here.


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