student achievement center project
underachieves for the community
Exploitation of Students & Workers at UNR
center raises question of parking
Students at the University
of Nevada-Reno often use the metered parking lot in front of the
Joe Crowley Student Union. The parking lot, however, might not
be available for that much longer....
One student, Rachel
Olbur, often uses the parking lot.
"I think that
it is not in favor of the students," Olbur said. "This
past year, the university took away the (adjacent) Whalen Parking
Garage and gave it to faculty members., which is understandable,
but that's just taking away more parking from students when our
university is indeed, growing."... (Fitness Center Raises
question of parking by Heather Janssen, Reno Gazette-Journal
issues weigh on UNR's future
Editor, Reno Gazette-Journal:
I just graduated. I
agree with Richard Mason's letter (below).
There have been maintenance
issues since I started going there as a nontraditional student
in 2004. John Lilley and Marc Johnson seem to be more interested
in the big projects funded by student fees and alumni donations.
Milton Glick, though,
in his short time actually tried, despite cuts during the recession,
to make some headway on the maintenance issues.
Johnson is too focused
on tearing down an otherwise historic building the could be redone
as the Student Achievement Center. Instead, students are going
to end up paying the brunt of the fees. Alumni donations only
go so far, mostly for front-end construction costs. Student fees
go to pay for the bonds.
If they keep adding
fees to fund new projects, what student is going to be able to
afford to go to UNR?
In the future, if I
do have money to donate to the university, what will I find? A
thriving university that is properly maintained and that students
can afford? Or a university that is with broken-down buildings
that the few students they have left are paying for?
I would rather donate
to a thriving university. Wouldn't you?
Susan Pacey-Field, Reno
UNR isn't keeping up with maintenance
Editor, Reno Gazette-Journal:
University of Nevada-Reno
initiatives spearheaded by (President) Marc Johnson include the
Pennington Student Achievement Center and the E.L. Wiegand Fitness
Oh, we are also now
a college town, according to Johnson. Guess I just missed that.
Long-term UNR watchers
will see that Johnson, like (former President) John Lilley before
him, is focusing his efforts on new facilities rather than addressing
existing infrastructure and academic facilities.
Johnson has said there
is $546 million in deferred maintenance, but that it is just not
sexy for donors to give money toward that. So instead, he chooses
the easy road and plans new facilities. Much of the funding for
the new Student Achievement Center will come from bonding student
fees that are still charged and stem from another great UNR misadventure,
the former Fire Science Academy. 
What is so fundamentally
wrong with this concept of in-with-the-new and let the old continue
Each square foot of
newly built space creates additional manual maintenance and eats
up a greater share of funds that might go toward addressing deficiencies
in existing facilities.
It is one thing to
build something; it is quite another to provide for adequate upkeep.
UNR has been poor at
Richard Mason, Reno
1. NEVADALABOR.COM EDITOR'S NOTE:
Several years ago, the unsafe and money-hemorraghing fire academy
in rural northeastern Nevada was dumped to the federal goverment
at a loss.
members handbill University of Nevada-Reno campus to inform students
here or in the window to read the handbill.
MEDIA ADVISORY 10-14-2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Richard "Skip" Daly (775) 856-0169
construction cash: Laborers' Union takes community's case to UNR
student-moderated public forum
RENO, Nev. (10-14-2013)
Members of Laborers' International Union of North America
Local 169 began passing out handbills at the University of
Nevada-Reno this morning.
"Students should be fully informed on how the Marc Johnson
administration is spending their money and that of donors,"
stated Local 169 Business Manager Richard "Skip"
The union handbill
asks students to contact university administrators and demand
transparency in the contracting process for the school's ambitious
"UNR uses its students and donors as legal cover to end-run
around long-established Nevada laws designed to safeguard the
proper use of public money and ensure competitive bidding,"
"Abusing a legal loophole, UNR can unilaterally decide not
to ask for competitive bids and simply award multi-million dollar
deals to whomever they like," he added.
"Increasingly, UNR likes to hire non-Nevada contractors who
take Nevada dollars out of the local economy," Daly noted.
After a recent demonstration at the university
protesting the hiring practices of Advance Installations, Inc.,
the university claimed to have conducted an investigation into
The union is demanding full disclosure of the university's purported
investigation of the workforce provided by Advance.
"When Advance learned some of their workers were talking
to the union, they replaced all their questionable hires until
the heat was off," Daly said.
"We are informed that many of those questionable workers
are back," he asserted.
The union handbill informs
students that "Phoenix-based Core Construction, with
UNR administrators sitting at the table, selected Advance Installations
for asbestos abatement (on the Getchell Library demolition) even
after being told about Advance's shady history of threats and
intimidation of their employees, exploiting their immigration
status, contractor board violations, OSHA safety violations and
Homeland Security complaints."
"A worker filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security about the questionable hiring practices of Advance,"
"Given all of the above, we are asking for a student-moderated
public forum so that we may discuss these issues with UNR administrators
and so students may ask questions about their money.
"We hope for
a positive response from President Johnson's office about this
request and look forward to his participation in the public discussion,"
"We may not represent
these workers, but we always stand for fairness for all workers,
union or not," Daly concluded.
of the handbill is available at NevadaLabor.org/
Laborers' International Union
of North America Local 169 has operated in Nevada since 1902
and represents more than 1,000 workers.
To: All Decision
Makers for construction contracts at UNR
From: Bob and Charlotte Brothwell
RE: Hiring of out-of-state contractors to draw wages from Nevada's
We are appalled to
hear about the decision to award building contracts to out-of-state
firms. We have two daughters who have earned Master's
Degrees from UNR and and grandchildren due to enroll soon. Their
tuitions to UNR is money you are spending irresponsibly, if
not illegally. We love UNR and have been proud of UNR. We are
horrified that our University would soil it's hands with practices
of this nature. Why are you not dedicated to emulating honesty,
fairness, lawfulness and just plain "doing the right thing"
as well as educating our students? This kind of operation
sends an ever growing global message that "the bottom
line" is the ONLY consideration in business or life decisions.
Please explain why your current decision is the best for our
students, university, our community and our State.
We will be pleased and satisfied to hear that the powers that
be have decided to cease the current practice and have opened
bidding to Nevada contractors who actually use qualified Nevada
Shame on you!
A PROMINENT FORMER NEVADA REPUBLICAN LEGISLATOR, 10-14-2013
Well, don't know
any of the real details of the case but someone had their head
up their ass when this project was started. Even if you have
all of the money to build it (and they don't)...then how do
they support it?
A PROMINENT NEVADA ATTORNEY, 10-14-2013: Wow!
ABOUT THE UNION:
Union of North America Local 169"?
>I had been a paying as well as active member of the 'Metal
Worker's Union', a German union who at times and only when project/topic
oriented would work together with non-German, EU Metal Worker's
Unions. The only thing 'international' about it was its membership
>My question is this: On or at what level does Local 169 become
International? Thank you for your time, be well . . (I know that
you do the rest).
U.S. unions are concerned, historically that's usually meant
Canada and U.S. possessions. However, in the age of global marketing,
a lot of U.S. unions are striking up relationships with their
counterparts in other countries. e.g., the United Farm Workers
are very active helping organizers in Central and S. America.
Companies with far-flung workers create far-flung union interests,
e.g., reporters for major international publications with bureaus
>Thank you, learned
something...hope that you will find some strong students to moderate
such a forum.
Backgrounder for UNR students, donors and Nevada taxpayers
challenges UNR President Marc Johnson to public discussion
The University of Nevada-Reno
uses its students and donors for legal cover to end-run around
long-established state laws designed to safeguard public money
and protect competitive bidding.
They take advantage of a loophole that defines "public works"
as only projects having more than 25 percent of funding appropriated
by the state. 
The loophole used to be rarely invoked but its frequency is now
on the increase. The UNR tactics have evolved into shaking down
students and donors to get to the 75 percent threshold in order
to circumvent public works requirements. The strategy has become
Under that cover, UNR's administration has no binding legal requirement
to follow any legal or regulatory process with respect to spending
donor, student (and tax) money on multi-million dollar construction
projects and UNR is pursuing a lot of them.
Because of this loophole big enough to drive construction trucks
through, public bidding laws are easily short-circuited. There
thus exists no way to challenge the contract-awarding process
spending student and donor money with no accountability.
Not even Nevada's Open Meeting Law applies. Under this loophole,
UNR can decide not to ask for bids at all and simply award multi-million
dollar deals to whomever they like.
Increasingly, UNR likes to hire non-Nevada contractors who take
Nevada dollars out of the local economy.
The university system (aka The Nevada System of Higher Education)
is the only public agency in the state without a statutory bidding
procedure to ensure the integrity of the contracting process and
proper use of public money.
Despite frequent claims that they follow a "fair and open
process" [2, 3] there is no remedy
available under law when they don't as evidenced by recent
legal action by two local contractors that was dismissed by the
court because of this loophole.
Students should be able to watch over how their fees are spent.
That requires a fair, open and transparent procedure, something
which does not now exist.
When workers at the Getchell Library demolition site began talking
to Laborers' Union of North America Local 169, Advance Installations,
Inc., started to replace all of its questionable workers.
After union members demonstrated at the Getchell
location on Sept. 20, Advance Installations systematically
replaced questionable workers just in time for the university's
University staffers claim that they found no problems. Today,
many of those questionable employees are back.
The union thus demands a list of workers employed before the union
demonstration, a list of workers reviewed by the university, and
a list of those employed after the investigation.
UNR staff does not have the expertise and it is not in their interest
to delve into this situation. The conflict of interest is glaring.
Only the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security is qualified and can
The union wants to know when the purported investigation was conducted
and demands to see complete documentation of the results.
This is an issue of both fairness and safety:
- Fairness to present
and future students and donors who are putting money into this
- Fairness for the
taxpayers of Nevada
- Safety for the community
because the union has been informed that some of the workers
on the Getchell site were previously-deported convicted felons
The Johnson administration
cannot ignore these problems in the hope that they will go away.
Given all the ambitious construction programs it has announced,
failure to act will only make matters much worse in the near future.
The union thus challenges President Johnson to participate in
a student-moderated public forum to discuss these issues.
We are citizens and taxpayers, too.
 Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) Section 338.010(16)(B). Senate
Bill 185 of the 2013 legislative session would have closed
this expensive loophole. The bill passed with strong bi-partisan
support in the Nevada State Senate 20-1 and the Nevada State Assembly
36-3, with three excused. University Board of Regents Chair Dan
Klaich asked Gov. Brian Sandoval-R, to veto the bill
and he did so on June 13, 2013.
 "Our competitive bidding processes are open and fair."
Ron Zurek, UNR Vice-President of Finance and Administration;
Reno Gazette-Journal; 5-3-2013; page 3A.
 "...all construction companies were hired in an 'open,
competitive and fair' process, and prevailing wage rates are paid
to all construction workers.
"'The university has an obligation to our donors and students
to make sure that we get the best product,' said Mary Dugan,
general counsel for UNR." UNR press release dated
9-20-2013 quoted in "Construction Project Inspires Questions"
by Kenny Bissett, Nevada Sagebrush, 10-8-2013.
information on the issues>
achievement center construction project inspires questioning
By Kenny Bissett / UNR Sagebrush 10-8-2013
smoking gun: UN,R subcontractor hires and exploits undocumented workers
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 9-26-2013
like old times: UN,R and Hot August Nights
by Barbano / Expanded from the
9-26-2013 Sparks Tribune
24 SEPT. 2013 5:00 p.m. PDT / 00:00 ZULU/GMT/SUT/CUT 9-25-2013 >
UPDATED 24 SEPT. 2013 1:06 p.m. PDT / 08:06 ZULU/GMT/SUT/CUT
19 SEPT. 2013 6:49 p.m. PDT / 01:49 ZULU/GMT/SUT/CUT SEPT.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Richard "Skip" Daly (775) 856-0169
Union demonstrates at UNR
files complaint with Dept. of Homeland Security
Members of Laborers' International
Union Local 169 will form an informational picket line Friday
morning, Sept. 20, on North Virginia Street at the demolition site of
the former Getchell Library on the UNR campus.
"We want donors to the university to know how their money is being
spent," stated Local 169 Business Manager Richard "Skip"
Out-of-state general contractor Core Construction, with University
of Nevada-Reno staffers sitting at the table, selected Advance
Installations, Inc., to perform asbestos abatement services on the
UNR were informed about the notorious track record of Advance Installations,
including prevailing wage complaints, exploitation of undocumented workers
and issues with the Nevada State Contractors Board," Daly
the selection of Advance Installations anyway," Daly said.
"An Advance Installations worker came to us with questions about
his treatment, pay and other issues," Daly stated.
"He felt secure asking us about his situation because of his documented
legal status. He stated that his co-workers felt afraid. When he began
asking questions of management and talking to his co-workers about these
issues, Advance Installations started to freeze him out by cutting his
work hours," Daly added.
"He told us that some of his co-workers were not only undocumented,
but that some had been previously deported and others had criminal records,"
"We've been informed that the documented worker filed an I-9 complaint
with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
"We have no information as to the status of that complaint or if
anything has been done," Daly noted.
Form I-9 (capital Ietter "i", numeral 9) "is used
for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals
hired for employment in the United States," according to a Homeland
Security website (below).
"All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for
each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes
citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized
representatives of the employer) must complete the form," the website
The form must be kept by the employer for at least three years after hire
or one year after termination.
that there has been a wholesale change in Advance Installations personnel
on the Getchell site," Daly said, "but the employment information
on all workers must remain available for federal compliance purposes."
Laborers' International Union of North
America Local 169 has operated in Nevada since 1902 and represents
more than 1,000 workers.
of Form :
Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization
of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers
must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire
for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens.
Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer)
must complete the form. On the form, an employee must attest to his or
her employment authorization. The employee must also present his or her
employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment
authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and
identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s)
reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record
the document information on the Form I-9. The list of acceptable documents
can be found on the last page of the form. Employers must retain Form
I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized
government officers. NOTE: State agencies may use Form I-9. Also, some
agricultural recruiters and referrers for a fee may be required to use
Wikipedia: I-9 Anti-discrimination
The Immigration Reform and Control Act which introduced the I-9 form also
included anti-discrimination provisions. Under the Act, most US citizens,
permanent residents, temporary residents or asylee/refugee who are legally
allowed to work in the US cannot be discriminated against on the basis
of national origin or citizenship status. This provision applies to
employers of three or more workers and covers both hiring and termination
Critics claim Apple/NVEnergy partnership will put ratepayers at risk
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 9-19-2013
protest Apple's lack of transparency and the huge cost of a just a few
U-News and Reno Gazette-Journal / 7-30-2013 and 8-4-2013
LATE THAN NEVER DEPT.>
Apple deal is a reminder more transparency is needed, including projects
Gazette-Journal Editorial/Sunday 10-20-13
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