News in Brief: UC System, Grad Students Continue Labor Mediation



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The UC system and the union representing graduate student instructors resumed mediation toward a contract yesterday.

Both sides agreed to meet back at the bargaining table with third party mediator Marty Morgenstern, director of the state's Department of Personnel Administration. The parties have not determined a deadline for mediation.

The university's team is made up of 15-20 labor and academic affairs representatives, said UC spokesperson Brad Hayward. He added that Darren Lee, assistant director of labor relations, heads the university's bargaining team.

To date, there have been eight days of mediation. Both sides initially called the mediation period on March 16, the day before graduate student instructors were set to strike.

"The mediation which ended last week produced some progress but it did not resolve all the issues," he said. "But we remain hopeful."

Last Tuesday, graduate student instructors at the eight undergraduate UC campuses staged a one-day strike in protest of alleged labor violations committed by the university.

"The strike was not helpful, but it had very limited impact," Hayward said.

In a memorandum to union members, the leadership of the Association of Graduate Student Employees said UC President Richard Atkinson has joined negotiations.

"We are making progress, and given the high level of engagement on both sides, we are convinced that a rapid resolution is possible," the memo states.

Linda Shin

UC Merced to Offer Summer Classes

UC Merced will offer its first courses for San Joaquin Valley students this summer, university officials announced this week.

Four general courses will be taught by UC Davis faculty at the newly remodeled UC Center in Fresno, according to a statement from Joseph Castro, director of Academic Programs at UC Merced. Students will earn UC Davis credits through the school's summer sessions office.

The initial class schedule includes economics, psychology and biology courses. The introductory biology course will be offered online, and will include lectures and discussions via the Internet.

UC Merced's campus is scheduled to open in 2004.

Claremont Library Branch Continues Renovations

The Claremont Branch of the Berkeley Public Library will be closed until May 15 for additional renovations.

The original scope of the project included the installation of a new automatic door, restroom upgrades and improvements to wheelchair ramps.

The renovations now include new carpeting and wiring and a fresh paint job. The library is also rearranging shelving to accommodate disabled patrons.

If the project runs smoothly, the library could reopen as early as May 8.

In the meantime, patrons of the Claremont Branch are encouraged to use the Central Library on Allston Way, the North Branch on The Alameda, the South Branch on Russell Street or the West Branch on University Avenue.

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