UC Berkeley News
Berkeleyan

Berkeleyan

News Briefs

27 April 2005

Berkeleyan publishing schedule

Following next week's May 5 issue, the Berkeleyan takes its traditional end-of-semester break, returning June 2 with coverage of 2005 commencement ceremonies. Those with news briefs or other items requiring publicity before June should contact us by Friday, April 29, at berkeleyan@pa.urel.berkeley.edu.

While we're away, campus news, event listings, and other coverage will continue without interruption on the online NewsCenter, newscenter.berkeley.edu.

Lawrence Talbot memorial rescheduled

The memorial service for Lawrence Talbot, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, has been changed to Tuesday, May 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Women's Faculty Club. (A May 18 memorial at the Faculty Club was announced in the Berkeleyan's obituary of Talbot, published in the April 7 issue.)

UC and service workers come to terms on three-year contract

The UC system and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) have reached a tentative agreement in long-stalled contract negotiations over wages and other terms of employment for thousands of UC's lowest-paid workers, it was announced last week.

Officials on both sides said the proposal, which would cover 7,300 service employees on all UC campuses, would provide across-the-board wage increases in each year of the three-year contract, a major sticking point in the talks. If union members ratify the agreement, they would receive raises of 3 percent in the first year, 3 percent the second year, and 4 percent the final year.

The university had previously insisted it could not offer across-the-board raises until the state Legislature approves funding under UC's compact with Gov. Schwarzenegger. The union staged a one-day strike on April 14, four days before a previously scheduled meeting with a state mediator aimed at breaking the deadlock. Contract talks between the two sides began in July 2004.

In announcing the new agreement, AFSCME cited what it called "significant wage increases that include guaranteed raises." UC officials, in a separate release, described the pay hikes as "subject to final state funding appropriations in each year" of the contract, which would expire in January 2008.

Howard Pripas, UC director of labor relations, said: "We believe this agreement is fair and financially realistic given our resources and the level of state salary funding promised under our budget with the governor."

AFSCME members will vote on the agreement "in the next few weeks," said the union, which added that negotiations on what it called "one of the key demands of the low-wage workers" - improved promotion and training opportunities - are continuing.

U.S. comptroller-general to discuss growing national debt on May 4

On Wednesday, May 4, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., David M. Walker, who heads the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), will give a free talk on the implications of this country's growing fiscal imbalance. The talk will be in the Andersen Auditorium, Haas School of Business. For details, see the website of the Goldman School of Public Policy, gspp.berkeley.edu, or call 642-4670.

Melia prevails in latest Jeopardy outing

Professor of rhetoric and Celtic studies Dan Melia routed the opposition in his round-two appearance in Jeopardy's "Ultimate Tournament of Champions." In the final Jeopardy category, "16th-Century Names," the answer was "As a foe of the Spanish, he's been called 'The Queen's Pirate' and a 'Gran Luterano.'" Melia, who had a very comfortable lead of $24,200 over his nearest competitor, offered the correct question ("Who is Sir Francis Drake?") and finished the game with $37,600 in winnings. He now advances to the third round; his next Jeopardy appearance airs in late May.

Botanical Garden tour of old roses is May 7

With its old roses near the peak of their bloom, the UC Botanical Garden will offer a tour of this collection on Saturday, May 7, from 1 to 3 p.m. Horticulturist Peter Klement will talk about the collection's history and the influence of Chinese, Persian, and European cultures on the roses grown today. The fee is $12 for non-members, $8 for members; registration is required. For information or to register, call 643-2755 or see botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu.

Additional computer-health workshop offered

University Health Services is offering an additional session of its Computer Health Matters workshop - from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3. The workshop covers how to design a user-friendly workstation and suggests stretches to relieve computer aches and pains.Those applying for the campus's computer ergonomics matching-funds program must have taken this workshop within the last two years. Enrollment is online at hrweb.berkeley.edu/ice/home.

For the record . . .

In a caption accompanying a photomontage of speakers at Chancellor Birgeneau's inauguration, which appeared in last week's issue, we erred in stating that University of Toronto Chancellor Vivienne Poy succeeded Birgeneau in that position. Birgeneau was UT's president.

In that same issue, we neglected to credit photographer Ben Ailes for his contribution to our coverage of Cal Day. We regret that omission.