Monday Memo: news & views about working at UC

Monday Memo: Week of March 12, 2018

UC management has outsourced payroll data to credit agency Equifax, raising serious concerns about data safety, according to UCSD professor Akos Rona-Tas in Remaking the University. Equifax last week admitted that several million additional people were affected by its recent data breach – the largest in history – bringing the total to roughly 148 million, reports CNBC.

Under-market wages fuel difficulties in recruiting and retaining UC counseling staff, and this in turn affects the quality of UC’s student mental health services. That’s what UPTE bargainers told UCOP management reps during a recent bargaining session at UC Riverside, reports the Highlander.

Public school teachers and support staff in West Virginia won a five percent raise after striking for nine days, according to National Public Radio, Rewire, CNN, Labor Notes, and the Guardian. Their last chant at the state capitol upon victory? “Who made history? We made history!” according to the Nation. Teachers in Oklahoma are planning a similar strike, and other state employees plan to join them.

The biggest higher education strike across Britain continues into its third week over cuts to defined benefit pensions, reports Equal Times, Wired, and the New Statesman. Of the 60-some colleges and universities affected, about half are formally calling for a “rethink” of the pension cut, according to the BBC. A striking lecturer describes the key issues in the Guardian, which also reports on over the top pay for university management.

What’s behind the war on public pensions, and the elevation of inferior plans like 401(k)s? The New York Times breaks it all down in The Real Reason the Investor Class Hates Pensions.

Several unions have joined a lawsuit filed today by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Day Labor Organizing Network to challenge the Trump administration’s cancelling of “temporary protected status” for immigrants from Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Unions at Harvard University demonstrated in support of TPS recently.

Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, a multi-billionaire with no experience in public school administration, is proposing to slash $4 billion from student aid programs, according to the Washington Post.

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