Friday, December 4, 2009

Take Action this MONDAY to Rescind Fee Hikes!

Commission on the Future – UCLA Listening Forum
Monday, December 7, 2009
Covel Commons, Grand Horizon Room
1:00 p.m. 

If you have not RSVP'd meet us outside of Covel at 1PM for a coalition speak-out!

This Monday, December 7, 2009 at Covel Commons, Grand Horizon Room students must speak out against and expose UC President Yudof's "Commission on the Future" hearing at UCLA. The Commission is charged with coming up with proposals to adapt to reduced public funding by cheapening and privatizing the UC system.

We must take a stand against the fee hikes and the entire effort to privatize the UC system.
The "UC Commission on the Future," formed in September 2009 and co-chaired by UC President Yudof and Regents Chairman Russell Gould, is charged with exploring different ideas, including:
• finding sources of private funding
• expanding "collaborative research" with "industry partners" (i.e. corporation-directed research)
• reducing undergraduate programs that are not "cost effective" (i.e. social sciences and liberal arts)
• online classes
• reducing UC freshman enrollment, and increasing the number of transfers from community colleges
• reducing the number of California residents admitted in favor of out-of-state residents who pay higher fees and are much less racially and economically diverse

Another proposal raised at a Commission hearing and highlighted in the Commission's press materials is asking firms to pay the UC system a fee for every UC graduate they hire.

[Website at: ]

Taken together, these proposals would lead to the privatization of the UC system. Inequality would increase, and in particular Latina/o, black, Native American, immigrant, undocumented, and low-income students of all races would be pushed out of the UC system.

For the past few weeks, thousands of students have been mobilizing to defend public education. This new movement has the power to reverse the fee hikes, and to stop the privatization of our university.

Join us Monday and defend public education!

Open Letter to Chancellor Block from 100 UCLA Faculty to Investigate Police Actions at Regents Meeting


Dear Chancellor Block,

As UCLA faculty we write to express our grave concern over the behavior of the Campus Police during the Regents meeting at UCLA. There are clearly documented examples (in both video and photographic evidence) of officers using tasers and batons on students, at least one incident of a security figure using either mace or pepper spray on students, as well as officers displaying tear gas rifles and pointing weapons at students. On a campus devoted to the free interchange of ideas and the rights of individuals to express their political views, these actions of the police were unacceptable.

We recognize that UCPD has the difficult task of balancing the security of the Regents with the free speech rights of protesters. We also recognize that protests are by their nature unpredictable and difficult to control. These challenges make it all the more important that campus police, as a force and as individuals, should avoid behavior that escalates tensions. Perhaps the UCPD considered the stance of their forces to be a deterrent to violence? Unfortunately, there is ample evidence to suggest that it had the opposite effect, serving only to raise tensions and intimidate individuals who were protesting the Regents’ actions.

We also recognize that the more egregious uses of force may have been individual actions rather than a common policy. But we would like to know what the protocols and policies are regarding the use of force. Officers wearing riot gear and carrying weapons should be trained and deployed in a manner that enables them to handle the unquestionable pressures of their position. Did Campus police prepare properly and plan for the meeting so as to minimize conflict and harm? While there have been some criticisms of protestors for their challenges to the Regents entering and leaving the building, it was the protestors who suffered most from the effects of the use of force. In what way did campus police and the event’s planners prepare the police to act appropriately? What steps were taken to ensure the safety not only of the Regents and University officials but students, staff, and faculty protesters?

We think that these events indicate a serious problem—not only for the individuals who suffered personally, but for the University as it moves ahead. UCLA has a long-standing tradition of vibrant political debate and the defense of First Amendment rights. There is, as you know, a good deal of distrust between students and the Administration. Your willingness to meet with students in a GSA led town hall meeting was an important first step. But a full and open investigation of last week’s events, as well as a review of campus policy on protests is required. We also call upon you to make a general statement to the Campus community that addresses the events of the Regents meeting and lays out the process of the Campus’ review of protocol and practice for ensuring the safety of all involved in future events.


Edward A. Alpers, History
Andrew Apter, History
George Baker, Art History
Victor Bascara, Asian American Studies
Ali Behdad, English / Comparative Literature
Maylei Blackwell, Chicana & Chicano Studies
Gary Blasi, School of Law
Ra'anan Boustan, History / Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Joseph Bristow, English
Karen Brodkin, Emeritus Anthropology
Carole H. Browner, Anthropology / Women's Studies / Neuroscience & Human Behavior
Shane Butler, Classics
Keith Camacho, Asian American Studies
Judy Carney, Geography
Jack Chen, Asian Languages & Cultures
Michael Chwe, Political Science
Michelle Clayton, Comparative Literature / Spanish and Portuguese
Michael Cooperson, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Donald Cosentino, World Arts & Cultures
Susan Curtiss, Linguistics
Jan De Leeuw, Statistics
Elizabeth DeLoughrey, English
Robin Derby, History
Helen Deutsch, English
Ellen Dubois, History / Women’s Studies
Aisha Finch, Women's Studies / Afro-American Studies
Matthew Fisher, English
Russell Ferguson, Art
Susan Foster, World Arts & Cultures
Andrea Fraser, Art
Dan Froot, World Arts & Cultures
Nouri Gana, Comparative Literature
Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Chicana and Chicano Studies
David Gere, World Arts & Cultures
Mishuana Goeman, Women's Studies
Andrea Goldman, History
Yogita Goyal, English
Nile Green, History
Gerry Hale, Emeritus, Geography
Sondra Hale, Anthropology / Women's Studies
Christian Haesemeyer, Mathematics
Natasha Heller, Asian Languages and Cultures
Tobias Higbie, History
Darnell Hunt, Sociology
Gail Kligman, Sociology
Grace Kyungwon Hong, Asian American Studies / Women's Studies
Sanford M. Jacoby, Management
Sarah Tindal Kareem, English
Katherine Callen King, Comparative Literature / Classics
Gordon Kipling, English
Raymond Knapp, Musicology
Namhee Lee, Asian Languages & Cultures
Rachel Lee, English
Francoise Lionnet, French & Francophone / Comparative Literature
Arthur Little, English
Chris Littleton, School of Law / Women’s Studies
Christopher Looby, English
David Wong Louie, English / Asian American Studies
Marissa López, English
Ghislaine Lydon, History
Reynaldo F. Macías, Chicana & Chicano Studies / Education & Applied Linguistics
Saree Makdisi, English / Comparative Literature
Elizabeth Marchant, Spanish & Portuguese / Women’s Studies
Victoria Marks, World Arts & Cultures
Valerie Matsumoto, History / Asian American Studies
Peter McClaren, Graduate School of Education
Kirstie McClure, Comparative Literature / Political Science
Kathleen McHugh, English
Muriel McClendon, History
Sara Melzer, French & Francophone
Michael Meranze, History
Ruth Milkman, Sociology
Kathryn Morgan, Classics
Peter Nabokov, World Arts & Cultures
Steven Nelson, Art History
Sianne Ngai, English
Thu-huong Nguyen-vo, Asian Languages & Cultures / Asian American Studies
Chon Noriega, Film, Television & Digital Media
Sung Deuk Oak, Asian Languages & Cultures
Frances Olsen, School of Law
Catherine Opie, Art
Vilma Ortiz, Sociology
John K. Papdopoulos, Classics / Archeology
Rafael Pérez-Torres, English
Peter Petersen, Mathematics
Meredith Phillips, School of Public Affairs / Public Policy
Gabriel Piterberg, History
María Cristina Pons, Chicana and Chicano Studies
Lionel Popkin, World Arts & Cultures
Jeffrey Prager, Sociology
Alex Purvas, Classics
Allen Roberts, World Arts & Cultures
Mary Nooter Roberts, World Arts & Cultures
Vilma Ortiz, Sociology
Jan Reiff, History
Geoff Robinson, History
Teofilo Ruiz, History
Michael Salman, History
Mark Sawyer, Political Science
David A. Scott, Art History / Archeological Conservation
Mark Seltzer, English
Jenny Sharpe, English
Shu-mei Shih, Comparative Literature / Asian Languages & Cultures
David Shorter, World Arts & Cultures
Susan Slyomovics, Anthropology
Zrinka Stahuljak, French & Francophone Studies
Timothy R. Tangherlini, Asian Languages & Cultures
Dominic Thomas, French & Francophone / Comparative Literature
Chris Tilly, Urban Planning / Sociology
Sharon Traweek, Women’s Studies / History
M. Belinda Tucker, Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences
Abel Valenzuela Jr., Chicana & Chicano Studies
Brian Walker, Political Science
Juliet Williams, Women’s Studies
E. Victor Wolfenstein, Political Science
Steven Yenser, English

Thursday, December 3, 2009

UTLA and AFSCME 444 Resolution in support of a statewide strike and day of action on March 4, 2010

Call for Statewide Day of Action to Support Public Education
Whereas, California public education from pre-kindergarten through college and adult ed, is facing its most dangerous crisis in years; with funding cuts, tuition increases, reduction of college seats available, furlough days for educators and support staff, and layoffs of employees and outright closures of entire departments; and
Whereas, new registrations for anti-union referenda have been introduced in order to further damage education workers and their unions, and
Whereas, the official national, state and, in many cases, local agendas for public education will result in increased class size, increased testing, teacher accountability measures which do not take into account many factors, and the creation of tiered categories of employment based on such measures, and
Whereas, following successful statewide events at CSU, UC and community college campuses in September, 2009, a conference was held on October 24 in San Francisco and issued a call for a Statewide Strike and Day of Action (actions to be decided locally) on March 4, 2010, to “Save public education! No budget cuts, fee hikes, or layoffs! For state-wide student, worker, and faculty solidarity!;” therefore, let it be
Resolved, that UTLA join the call for a statewide day of action to be held March 4, 2010, to include the demands of 1) restoring full funding of all public education, 2) assuring all of our students their right to a safe and free public education, 3) maintaining the rights of education employees to guaranteed pay, benefits and safe working conditions, and 4) ensuring adequate funding for the health, housing, jobs and safety of all working people; and further
Resolved, that UTLA will organize within United Teachers Los Angeles its own internal education campaign, and mobilize support for an action locally, building coalitions with other education and affiliated unions, teachers, students, and community organizations to further the goals of this resolution, and further
Resolved, that UTLA work with other public sector unions and members of the County Federation of Labor to present a forum on Privatization and the Attacks on Education and other Public Human Services; and finally
Resolved, that UTLA will carry this resolution to all its affiliates and to the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor for their concurrence and support.

WHEREAS California public education from pre-kindergarten through college and adult ed, is facing its most serious crisis in years; with funding cuts, tuition increases, reduction of college seats available, furlough days for teachers and support staff, and layoffs of employees and outright closures of entire departments; and

WHEREAS unemployment in California has risen to 12.5% and is closer to 25% among youth and even higher among young people of color;

WHEREAS 1.6 million construction jobs have been lost since this recession began with 136,000 construction jobs lost in California this past year and 322,000 public service jobs have been lost in the last four years: and

WHEREAS more job losses are expected as stimulus money dries up; and

WHEREAS 1 in 53 housing units received a foreclosure notice in the California during the third quarter of 2009 as people are being thrown out of their homes as well as their jobs; and

WHEREAS this is occurring as trillions of dollars of taxpayer’s money has been handed to bankers and other financial institutions in the wake of the current crisis, much of it unaccounted for; and

WHEREAS thousands of students at the University of California facing 32% increases in fees and increasing privatization of education, joined striking university employees on September 24th; and

Whereas; following these events a hugely successful conference was held at UC Berkeley on October 24th attended by 800 students, workers and supporters; and

WHEREAS this conference issued a call for a statewide strike and day of action on March 4th2010 to “Save public education” against budget cuts, fee hikes or layoffs; and

WHEREAS students have faced brutal actions by the police for being in the forefront of the struggle to save education, jobs and for calling for solidarity and joint action with workers; therefore let it be

RESOLVED that AFSCME Local 444 support the October 24th call for a statewide strike and/or day of action on March 4th 2010; and be it further

RESOLVED that AFSCME Local 444 recognizes that without united action no single group or one Union can reverse this offensive; and be it further

RESOLVED that the 1,200 AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions in the California Labor Federation representing 2.1 million union members in such crucial industries as shipping, retail, manufacturing, public service and communications have tremendous potential power; and be it further

RESOLVED that through a united mobilization of all workers and students regardless of status we can win free federally funded education at all levels, increased jobs, a halt to foreclosures and a better life for all; and be it further

RESOLVED funding for such social needs come from diverting funds from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, from taxing the corporations and the rich, taxing trades in the stock market and currency trades, and not taxes on workers or the middle class. California, the third biggest oil producer in the country is the only one of the 22 major oil states that does not impose a tax on oil taken from the ground; and be it further

RESOLVED that the leadership of the California Labor Federation, the Change to Win Coalition and the international Unions so affiliated to these bodies, as well as non-affiliated Unions join the call for and participate in a statewide strike on March 4th 2010 and publicly announce such intentions; and be it finally

RESOLVED that the resources of organized Labor in California be used between now and March 4th 2010 to build support among the members of its affiliated Unions, the communities in which we live and work, and among the youth for a successful and united statewide strike against the assault on working people and our families.

Adopted by AFSCME Local 444 Executive Board 12-03-09

cc  California State Labor Federation AFL-CIO
     Alameda County Central Labor Council  AFL-CIO
     AFSCME District Council 57 AFL-CIO
     AFSCME International Union AFL-CIO