Monday, July 20, 2009

Unions Speak Out on UC Furloughs/Pay Cuts

Juan Castillo (AFSCME 3299) and Dianna Sahhar (CUE) on KUCI. Photo © Daniel C. Tsang 2009

University of California Regents the previous Thursday imposed a furlough/pay cut plan on thousands of UC employees, but for the UC's unionized workers, the University has to negotiate with them or the plan does not apply. On the 20 July 2009 edition of Subversity, we continue to bring you the union response.

We talked with Dianna Sahhar, a long-time Library Assistant at UCI, just back from negotiations as a CUE leader, and asked her what the University is proposing and her union's reaction. News flash: Because the plans call for monthly pay cuts, the furloughs when taken will not entail further cuts, and thus will be recorded as "paid" leave. The University had previously announced that furlough days will be banked like vacation days (for those who have them).

Sahhar is President of CUE Irvine, Local #9 from March 2008 to2010. She is a graduate of UCI with a BA in Social Ecology from 1983, and has worked at the Library for almost 20 yrs now.

We'll also talk with Juan Castillo, Lead Organizer for AFSCME 3299, who was at Friday's town hall meeting and his attempt to question the UCI Chancellor from the floor got Chancellor Michael Drake stymied for a second -- with Drake finally saying he was not "negotiating" with Castillo.

Castillo was born in El Salvador and worked with the labor movement as an organizer since he was a teenager. He arrived to the US in 1981 as a political refugee due to the human right viloations of the then-Salvadorian government and studied Biology and Chemistry at OCC and Cal State Long Beach.

Audio of the UCI Town Hall meeting as recorded by Subversity is posted here; the audio has Chancellor Drake already speaking: Twnhall090717.mp3.

For faculty reaction, see: Remaking the University:

and Emeritus Prof. Charles Schwartz's A Critical Forum on Research

Earlier Subversity interview with Bob Samuels, UC-AFT President (first half of show): (In part II, Jeffrey Schmidt, a UCI Ph.D graduate, and author of Disciplined Minds, talks about his days at UCI and how academia "disciplines" its graduate students etc.)

Cal State staff and faculty are also facing furloughs and its faculty are currently voting on it; on Cal State faculty, see: The California Faculty Association site: and its California at the Edge report:

To listen to the show, click here: .

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