| For the Week of September 19, 2011
As we reported last week, a proposal to raise tuition by 8 to 16 percent for the next four years to address UC’s perpetual funding problems was discussed at the September 14 regents meeting. But even the regents wanted more options to consider in November. As Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said, the idea of yearly tuition increases “scares the bejesus out of folks."
Gov. Jerry Brown had asked the CSU system for a $50 million increase in employer contributions to the CalPERS pension fund, but in a rare split vote, labor representatives vetoed the request. They were responding to requests from CSU labor unions to delay action until contract bargaining is finished. Unions have previously agreed to increases in worker pension contributions.
Privatization was supposed to be the fix-all for problems at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, formerly managed by UC. Instead, staff has been cut by a third, 130 former LLNL workers have filed suit against the management company for discrimination, and UPTE representatives have been sounding the alarm at the deleterious changes caused by the 2007 restructuring.
The Economist magazine commented on UC’s continuing privatization and the slow death of California’s model of quality public education.
UC Davis estimates that the campus produced about 56,000 jobs and generated about $10 for every dollar invested by the state in 2009-10.
Around the country, 3,000 Hyatt Hotel workers have been on strike since September 8 over the ability to organize solidarity strikes and boycotts against unsafe or abusive working conditions. In Southern California 62,000 grocery workers are moving toward a strike in the face of corporate stonewalling by Ralphs, Vons, and Albertsons. And this week 4,000 nurses represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers will strike against Kaiser throughout California from Wednesday through Friday over proposed takeaways to health benefits and pensions plans.