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an occupation

11/18 – UCLA & UCSC are occupied… see the occupyCA website for updates.

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Planning for Nov. 18th

here is a notice from a group organizing around Nov. 18th to stand in solidarity with stakeholders at UCLA during the next Regents meeting. The Regents will be making the decision on whether they will implement the 32% fee increase.

They are holding a planning meeting for students, workers, teachers on Wednesday, Nov. 11th, 3pm @ San Lorenzo Park.

from the facebook group:

On November 18th, UC Santa Cruz is a university without students.

From the 17th to the 19th, the UC Regents will again meet to vote on another proposed student tuition increase: now a particularly unbearable 32% over two semesters, last summer 9%. If this increase is approved, the cost of a UC education will have tripled since 2000.

At the same time, the UC administration has been forcing furloughs on workers and teachers, slashing jobs, and drastically cutting student services.

We, as students, teachers, workers, refuse to support this. A call has been issued for a system wide strike, and thousands are gathering at UCLA to protest the regents meeting.

Here, at UC Santa Cruz, in solidarity with students and workers across the state and against the proposed tuition hikes that we face, students are walking out of classes and shutting the campus down. The administration is making the university a place inhospitable for students and workers. On the 18th and the days that follow, we assert our right to the university. We will prove to the university that we are not going away and that our mass refusal knows no ends.

Come plan to make this necessary action happen. Spread the word to everyone you know – we need all input and involvement.

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Public Forum on Budget Cuts – Tomorrow

Public Forum details here.

(also the Gould Commission, apart of the UC Regents will be at UC Santa Cruz)

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UC Bonds – A Link with Tuition

UCSC’s Bob Meister’s open letter to students:

The single most important reason that UC has an excellent bond rating, much better than the state’s, is that it can now raise your tuition at will. Your tuition is UC’s #1 source of revenue to pay back bonds, ahead of new earnings from bond-funded projects, which do not even come second. The bond interest UC now pays will be $300M this year, and is projected to go way up as UC greatly increases the private capital it raises through tuition-backed bonds over the next decade.

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UC Berkeley Convergence – Oct. 24

10/24 – 10am to 6pm

Location: UC Berkeley – Pauley Ballroom

We have the power to stop the catastrophic budget cuts, fee hikes, and layoffs — but to save public education in California requires coordinating our actions on a state-wide level.

We invite all UC, CSU, CC, and K-12 students, workers, teachers, and their organizations across the state to participate in and collectively build the October 24 Mobilizing Conference to Save Public Education. The all-day conference will take place at UC Berkeley (contact us for more logistics).

The purpose of this conference is both simple and extremely urgent: to democratically decide on a state-wide action plan capable of winning this struggle, which will define the future of public education in this state, particularly for the working-class and communities of color.

Why UC Berkeley? On September 24, over 5,000 people massively protested and effectively paralyzed the UCB campus, as part of the UC-wide walkout. A mass General Assembly of over 400 individuals and dozens of organizations met that night and collectively decided to issue this call.

We ask all organizations and individuals in the state who want to save public education to endorse this open conference and help us collectively build it.

Save public education!
No budget cuts, fee hikes, or layoffs!
For state-wide student, worker, and faculty solidarity!

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OCCUPY CALIFORNIA

http://occupyCA.wordpress.com

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Another Tuition Increase: 30%!

SF Chronicle for the full article.

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UPTE STRIKE- 9/24

UPTE CWA 9119 (University Professional & Technical Employees) will be holding a strike on September 24th (Thursday). This strike is a response to unfair pay slashes and furloughs that staff must undergo. In addition, UC Faculty will be walking out that day in solidarity with these demands:

1. No furloughs or paycuts on salaries below $40,000.
2. The immediate institution of the Academic Senate Council’s July 29 recommendation regarding the implementation of furloughs.
3. Full disclosure of the budget.

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming 2009-10 Disorientation Guide from the article, “The Budget Cuts” by Gazuedro:

During July the UC established an unusual pay slash/furlough system. It cut employee salary by 4-10% based on the employee’s original salary, and then, as some sort of twisted compensation it gave employees anywhere between 11 to 26 days off amidst a 16% unemployment crisis. The pay cuts themselves don’t only target UC employees making high salaries, but will target the lowest paid employees strongly. Salaries higher than $240,000 will be cut no greater than 10%, while employees making less than $40,000, no matter how little, will receive 4% pay cuts. Through this approach, the UC is hoping to cover approximately 25% of their budget shortfall. Perhaps the worst aspect of the furlough system the UC has established is that part time employees will receive a pay cut based on the salary they would be making if they they were full-time employees. In other words, if someone part-time makes $30,000 and their full-time equivalent makes $50,000, they will receive a 6% pay cut instead of a 4% pay cut!

In January of 2009, service workers in the union AFSCME Local 3299 won a contract battle that lasted 16 months. Stipulated in the contract, service workers were promised a pay increase of 4% (with further increases each consecutive year). Although valiantly struggled for, the total pay increase will nowhere near provide service workers with a wage they can survive on. In effect, these pay cuts have undermined all the gains of January’s new contract—gains struggled for precisely because of how necessary they were. What the UC is doing is truly vile and borders on the spiteful.

The pay cuts and furlough system have been promised to only last for 1 year. Despite reassurances from administrators that renewing such a furlough system again would be an arduous process, the likelihood that pay cuts will return for the next year are strong as some of the impact of the budget shortfall this year has been cushioned by the temporary Federal Stimulus. In all likelihood, a similar federal stimulus will not exist the following year, thus increasing the need to slash salaries.

Visit UPTE’s website here and the UC faculty walkout website here.

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Cuts to Student Media

a letter from Save the Student Voice:

Dear UCSC Students, Faculty, Administrators and Staff,
Help support the Student Voice by demanding student input and transparency in the budget cut process! Click here to express your concern!
LACK OF TRANSPARENCY
In the first weeks of summer, Student Affairs administration reallocated funding from student initiated Measure 7, laying off the Director of Student Media, a 32% cut of Student Media’s Measure 7 funding. Measure funds are not affected by state funds and should be protected from the budget cuts!
LACK OF STUDENT INPUT
SFAC (The Student Fee Advisory Committee set in place to ensure student input) did not make recommendations on funding allocation for 2009-10. Measure 7 falls under the purview of SFAC and changes to this funding cannot be made without the participation of this committee. It is outrageous that past recommendations are being overridden as decisions are made without students!
SILENCING THE STUDENT VOICE
These are unauthorized cuts, that eliminate critical advising for students in media law, the First Amendment, ad sales and underwriting. These cuts threaten ability for student press to publish Inability to produce content = CENSORSHIP.
The student voice must be heard, especially in the process of budget cuts!
All student measures and program funds are at risk of being reallocated.
Demand transparency and student input in these decisions!

Visit SavetheStudentVoice.com for more information about Measure 7 funds and to stand up for the student voice!

Contact the administration to voice your opinion and encourage other students, staff, faculty, alumni and your parents to do the same!

savethestudentvoice.com
savethestudentvoice@gmail.com
Join Our Facebook Group!

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Grad Students on Behalf of LALS Lecturers

Here is a copy of a letter going around for grad students to sign. If you are interested in signing please:

**SEND YOUR NAME AND AFFILIATION TO pascha@ucsc.edu OR
szepeda@ucsc.edu by TUESDAY, APRIL 28th**

____________________________________________________________

To: Dean Sheldon Kamieniecki, ski@ucsc.edu

Chancellor George Blumenthal, george@ucolink.org

Executive Vice Chancellor David Klinger, kliger@ucsc.edu

VP Due, Bill Ladusaw, vpdue@ucsc.edu

Re: Budget Cuts–Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) Department

We write this collective letter as Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) parenthetical graduate students, and other concerned graduate students who support the LALS department, its distinguished faculty, and its strong undergraduate teaching. Since its formation in the early 1990s, LALS has supported innovative teaching and research through its commitment to interdisciplinarity. In specific, the LALS department has made nationally recognized and unprecedented strides in bridging ethnic and area studies approaches to the study of the Western hemisphere.

We strongly urge you to reconsider your recommendation to terminate Dr. Guillermo Delgado and Dr. Susanne Jonas, who are both founding members of the LALS Department and who contribute greatly to undergraduate education, mentorship, and retention of underrepresented students at UC Santa Cruz. Dr. Delgado and Dr. Jonas have proven their commitment to undergraduate education as full-time teachers and continually inspire students because of their research-based courses especially in the areas of migration, indigenous and Central American studies. Potential cuts in their employment and the courses they teach would undermine important advances UCSC has made in the past several decades in the direction of both attracting and retaining underrepresented students and would thus compromise the vitality and diversity of UCSC.

As mentioned, LALS is nationally recognized as an incredibly innovative and interdisciplinary program. As graduate students, we greatly value our opportunities to work as Teaching Assistants in the LALS department. Our engagement and service in this capacity as TAs has been critical for our learning how to develop innovative curriculum based on a hemispheric approach in the study of the Americas. Moreover, this training has made us competitive relative to other recent graduates in the social sciences in this increasingly constricted job market. Both Dr. Delgado and Dr. Jonas contribute greatly to our training and mentorship and we fear that future graduate student job placement would be negatively affected by their termination.

We encourage you to consider alternative ways to manage this budget crisis, such as pay cuts to senior administrators, following the University of Delaware’s example. In contrast to the proposal under consideration at UCSC, senior administrators at the University of Delaware have opted to take a reduction in pay instead of compromising core programs and services:

“We are planning to provide previously committed salary increases for the coming year while maintaining our core programs and services to support our students, faculty research and continued services to the University community. Given the uncertain economic times, and after careful consideration, I have decided to take a 10 percent reduction in my base salary and variable merit pay for 2009 and both the Provost and Executive Vice President base salary and variable merit pay for 2009 will be reduced by five percent.”1

In addition to considering this strategy, we hope that you make every effort possible to listen to other students’ proposals and answer our questions during this period of uncertainty. Perhaps a participatory budget model would best fit this request. We are in conversation and agreement with undergraduates, staff, and faculty who also want different solutions to budgetary problems.

Thank you for your consideration of this urgent request to reconsider the importance of Dr. Guillermo Delgado and Dr. Susanne Jonas in the LALS department to the ongoing viability of the LALS department and the UCSC community in general.

1 University of Delaware President Patrick Harker, A New Year 1/11/09 Letter. http://www.udel.edu/president/letters_2.html

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Brief Reportback: April 22 Walkout

note: this is not an official release. Please feel free to comment and share your perspectives on the event!

The rally at the Quarry had approximately 300 people. There was a lot of energy and the several speakers at the event were vocal against the budget cuts. Among the speakers at the event included students and lecturers from affected departments and programs. Some media was present.

Next week, another rally is planned for Wednesday, noon, at the Quarry Plaza.

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Budget signed in…

In brief,

“This afternoon, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the state budget adopted by the Legislature for the rest of 2008-09 and the 2009-10 fiscal year, closing our state’s $42 billion deficit. The plan incorporates a framework of revenue increases, spending reductions and other actions. While the budget plan includes $115 million in new permanent funding cuts for the University of California system, UC will be impacted by a total $450 million shortfall consisting of the $115 million in new cuts, $122 million in underfunded enrollments and $213 million in unfunded mandatory costs over the two-year period for utilities, employee health benefits and other inflationary costs.

The University does not yet have information on how the budget will affect student fee levels for fall 2009. The Regents will take up that subject at a meeting this spring; the timing has yet to be determined.”

Also, jarring that “human capital” was the first thing I read on the page.

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Environmental Studies budget meeting of sorts

So I just returned from the event by Environmental Studies on the budget. The interesting point was that I was nearly the only person who wanted to know more about the budget.

However, Daniel Press did provide more insight on how the budget works. He explained that the UC is not like a private university where the deans get a pot of money to divy up. The ENVS department recieves its permanent faculty budget from the state, however funds for TA-ships and some other funds make up their instructional budget come from the Dean, but Daniel was somewhat vague as to how that worked. He mentioned that Kliger was above the deans, but would probably say he didn’t have money or discretion either, which he would have some more discretion but ultimately it did not sound like he would be in charge of the budget necessarily.

What I draw from this is that we will just be fighting amongst ourselves for more money for our various projects if we direct our action at Kliger or the Chancellor. Certainly we could potentially gain more democracratic control of our education here at UCSC by directing actions at Kliger and the Chancellor, but it seems to me like actually having democratic gains would be had through a statewide struggle for education to be a priority of the state and the nation.

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Hypotheses, resources on budget process

Hi everybody,

Here are the links that I brought to the meeting yesterday.  Right now I’m working with a hypothesis that leads to some questions that I suspect the administration wouldn’t want to answer.  Also, I have some suggested demands for info based on certain gaps in the info that the administration has published.

findings

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AFSCME 3299 Contract Details

The following is an excerpt from http://www.afscme3299.org:

After a year and half of negotiations, we have reached a historic contract with UC!  Despite UC’s excuse that they didn’t have any money, our militant actions, hard work and determination made UC agree to our major demands! We have fundamentally changed UC to improve the lives of the thousands of the lowest paid workers at UC!

Issue: Tentative Agreement
ATBs Year 1: 4% (3 % FULL retro to 10-1-08 + 1% 7-1-09) GUARANTEED

Year 2: 3%  GUARANTEED

Year 3: 3% GUARANTEED

Year 4: 3% – We have right to strike if the money is not there

Year 5: 3% – We have right to strike if the money is not there

Total: 16% – 10% guaranteed + 6% dependent on state funding

Steps Initial Placement: 1 step credit for every 2 year seniority in current title (10/1/09)

With additional annual movement to bring everyone up to their correct step at time of ratification.

2% Automatic Seniority Based Steps Guaranteed with automatic annual movement between steps (starting 7/1/09 & annual thereafter)

Guaranteed minimum 6% in steps increases for eligible employees!

Minimum Wage $14/hour guaranteed statewide minimum wage by the end of the contract (immediately  increased to $12/hour, and then $12.50/hour on 10/1/09)
Pension Protection Service workers’ future contributions to UCRP will be the same that PCT negotiates.

No reduction in take-home pay, instead when University contributions to UCRP resume Service workers will re-direct 2% contribution from DCP to the UCRP.

Healthcare Protection Same as PCT: 12% cap on healthcare increases over any 2 year period, starting with 2008
Overtime OT after shift & double time pay after 12 hours in the 10/1/2012
Education Leave Immediately increased from 24 hours to 40 hours per year
Equity Same as PCT: Decreases new hire inequity from 5% to 2% immediately and eliminates it completely by end of the contract
Parking Same as PCT: Caps on increases for parking rates (varies by campus; most annual increases capped at $5-$10/ month)
No Discrimination Same as PCT: Better protections against discrimination of immigrant workers

Yes, we did!

  • Fundamentally changed the pay system at UC to one that rewards our seniority!
  • For the first time ever, won guaranteed raises that are not dependent on state funding!
  • Secured the best benefits protections we have ever had!
  • Increased the statewide minimum wage by over $3/hour by the
    end of the contract!
  • For the first time ever, caps on parking rate increases!

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A Statement (a work in progress)

This statement is a work in progress and is not (yet) an official statement of our coalition.

“UC executives claim that we are in a
state of crisis, a crisis that will force us to “tighten our belts.”
But whose belts, and on whose terms?  Not the executives themselves,
but the families, workers, and students, the vast majority of those
tied to the UC system.  “Tightening our belts” is a threat to increase
class sizes, eliminate jobs, perpetuate poverty wages, and hike up
student fees. This climate of fear presents us with stark choices:  affordable,
quality education versus dignity for UC workers; research versus teaching;
manageable class sizes versus access to education.  If we view education as a
commodity, then we will succumb to these false choices.  But
if we are able to advance an alternative vision of a truly public
university, then we can build the foundation to challenge the UC’s
logic of scarcity.

We are a coalition in formation that is working to develop collective struggle to
save quality of education in the UC from regressive, belt-tightening attacks, to
ensure universal access to education, and to promote the freedom of thought in the
university.  We call for transparency in the UC budget and accountability for the
executives who make decisions that affect our lives.  We also seek to
change the current autocratic structure of decision-making by building
a coalition of students, workers, educators, parents, and community members.  We
refuse to fight over pieces of a shrinking pie; we
will work instead to create a space to understand the points of
connection of our various struggles.  Despite the apparent
contradictions, in this moment we need each other to fight back against
the cuts and develop a vision of a different, better UC.”

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