Entries categorized "Education"

Broadband Public Comment to City Council

On April 9, 2019 The Davis City Council took public comments on a proposed new contract for City of Davis broadband infrastructure.

The City Council discussion was held in closed session after comments. The City Council did not record or broadcast the public comments. Audio has been provided to the Davisite by Bob Fung of CivEnergy, photos by Roberta Millstein. Approximately 30 people were in attendance.

 

 


UC Workers Strike on April 10: How to Show Your Solidarity

AFSCME3299
By Connor Gorman

Solidarity forever! The UC still hasn't agreed to provide basic rights and dignity to many of its workers (much less what they truly deserve) while simultaneously intimidating, threatening, and retaliating against workers for their participation in labor activities. Because of this, AFSCME 3299 (which covers service and patient care workers) filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge against the UC and will be striking next Wednesday (April 10) along with UPTE-CWA 9119 (which covers technical and professional employees).

There are a variety of ways that students, workers (who aren't part of AFSCME 3299 or UPTE-CWA 9119), and community members can support the strike and demand an end to the UC's blatant violation of workers' rights along with demanding that the UC provide all of its workers with a living wage while maintaining and expanding essential benefits and protections like good, affordable healthcare; a dignified retirement plan; and job security. The main way that anyone can show their support is by joining the picket line for any period of time that they're able to between 7am and 5pm on the corner of College Park and Russell Blvd., while prioritizing attendance at the 12pm rally if possible (or if you're in Sacramento there will be another picket line at the Medical Center). You can even study or grade at the picket line.

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Students and Workers United Will Never be Defeated!

The following letter was sent by UAW 2865 Davis Unit.  See previous article for more context.

 

Davis

Dear members,

Solidarity forever! On Wednesday, March 20th, thousands of campus workers will go on strike across the UC system to demand a living wage while maintaining and expanding essential benefits and protections like good, affordable healthcare; a dignified retirement plan; and job security. Despite the university’s attempts to trick students and workers into blaming each other for our hardships, we know that our interests are intrinsically connected while the real blame falls on the university’s (and the state’s) priorities.

We recognize that March 20 is the middle of finals week when many students are busy but there are a variety of ways you can support the strike which vary in their level of commitment. First, we’d like to remind you that the contract between UAW 2865 and the UC guarantees Academic Student Employees (ASEs; TAs, AIs, Readers, and Paid Tutors) the right to not cross picket lines. If any ASE chooses to exercise this right and not work on March 20 due to the strike, the UC isn't allowed to impose any consequences on them beyond docking their pay for the hours that they otherwise would have worked. Let us know if you face any sort of retaliation for acting in solidarity with fellow UC workers.

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UC Davis workers on strike, Wednesday, March 20

UpteUPTE will strike on March 20th. Pickets will run at College Park and Russell Blvd (Davis campus) and 2315 Stockton Blvd (Sacramento medical center) from 7 AM to 6 PM on Wednesday March 20th. All UPTE members will be on strike for 24 hours, beginning at 4am on March 20th. UPTE Research and Technical (RX/TX) members are striking for a fair contract and Healthcare (HX) members will be striking in solidarity.

UTPE (University Professional and Technical Employees), CWA 9119, is the union of technical and professional employees at the University of California. It includes Staff Research Associates, Computer Resource Specialists,  Clinical Lab Techs, Editors, Student Affairs Officers, Social Workers, Writers, Museum Scientists, Lab Assistants, and many other titles.

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On Open Access and the UC severing its relationship with the publisher Elsevier

Open-access-no-elsevierThe University of California recently announced that it was terminating its relationship with the publisher Elsevier because Elsevier would not meet its terms for open access.  According to the UCSF library, Elsevier publishes the highest number of peer-reviewed journals worldwide and is the largest publisher of UC-authored journal articles. Thus, UC’s termination of its relationship with Elsevier is a dramatic step that may end up having equally dramatic, and hopefully positive, effects on journal publishing, paving the way for more open access.

But what is open access, and why is the UC’s decision important?  As a 20+ year academic and a co-editor of an open access journal, Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology, I thought I’d give an explanation geared toward the layperson to help provide some context for this decision.

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Young Democratic Socialists Hold Launch Party for "College for All" Campaign in Davis

Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 1.28.17 PM“Public college and universities tuition free? Damn right.” Bernie Sanders , most popular politician in the U.S. [1]

WHAT:

State funding for higher education has declined by 65% in the last four decades, part of a broader gutting of the U.S. public education system. In response, tuition and fees have more than quadrupled in California since 2000 [2]. At UC Davis, 49% of students take out loans during their time in school. These students graduate with an average debt of $19,124 [3].

The YDSA at UC Davis is launching Davis’ College For All campaign on Saturday March 2nd , 2019. The YDSA’s nationwide College for All campaign demands tuition-free public higher education through direct federal and state funding to fully cover living wages of all campus workers, student debt cancellation, ending all forms of government subsidies to for-profit institutions, and democratic representation for students, faculty and staff in all higher education budgeting decisions. Davis’ local YDSA chapter will be working to build a broad coalition with student organizations on campus, as well as working with campus workers in their joint fight against austerity.

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College classes taught by TAs? Enterprise columnist misses the mark

TasTeaching
I normally find that Jennifer Borenstein offers excellent college advice in her “College Corner” column in the Davis Enterprise. Unfortunately, however, her most recent column is misleading, both in its use of terms and in the elephant in the room that it leaves out.

First, do TAs teach college classes?  Occasionally, but not in the way that  Borenstein means.

To be (perhaps excessively) clear, a graduate student is a person who is pursuing a degree beyond the undergraduate (BA, BS) level.  Once someone is a graduate student, they might be a teaching assistant, or TA. Or, they might be assigned to be a primary instructor for a class (sometimes with graduate student TAs!).  Or, they might not teach at all.  Thus, in the usual case, it doesn’t make sense to say that a TA is teaching a class.  If a graduate student is hired as a primary instructor for a class, they are not a TA.  They are the primary instructor.

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