Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

Monday Memo: Week of February 12, 2018

UPTE member Sarah Lawton with friends at last year's March for Science Scientists and STEM workers across the US are running for office in droves, reports Time, motivated by the attacks on research, facts and knowledge by the current administration. Last year’s March for Science initiated an upswing of activism from scientists, one they hope to repeat again this year, on April 14.

An outside review of UC’s $33 billion Office of the President suggests cutting its budget by as much as half, reports UCSB’s student-run newspaper The Bottom Line. That could streamline UCOP by eliminating programs and fellowships, moving central programs back to campuses, and “spinning off the UC medical centers and health system,” reports the Los Angeles Times.

UC Irvine will be the home of UC’s new center to promote free speech and civic engagement, the Los Angeles Times reported. Among other issues, the center will explore the intersection between diversity and free speech, protests against police violence, and challenges to the First Amendment.

The latest legal assault on unions is expected in two weeks, when the Supreme Court hears arguments in Janus v. AFSCME. Anti-union groups are using the case to try to strip public sector unions of their source of funding. While most legal briefs filed have followed expected pro-union or anti-union lines, one surprise has been a brief filed by libertarian and conservative legal scholars, which argues in favor of unions and could swing the case.

Workers across the country will be coming together on Saturday, February 24, to defend their rights in a Working People’s Day of Action, just two days before the Supreme Court is due to hear arguments in the Janus case. A demonstration is scheduled for Convention Center Park in San Diego.

A new Poor People’s Campaign supported by labor and community in 32 states gets underway with events this spring, reports the Washington Post, reinvigorating the original campaign by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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