FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2017
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“Students & Workers In, Executives Out”
UC Regents Meeting Shutdown by Protest
(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) – Students and workers gathered outside UCSF’s Mission Bay Conference Center in protest of UC’s contracting out practices, rising education costs, and more during UC’s Board of Regents meeting Wednesday morning. The protest took place just two weeks after UC President Janet Napolitano testified before state lawmakers regarding her interference with an audit of her office that found $175 million in secret funds.
“The fact is President Napolitano lied,” says Nicolas Costa Monteiro, Vice President of External Affairs at UC San Diego. “The UC tells students there is not enough money for us, so they impose yet another tuition hike, pushing out members of our most vulnerable communities. They’re telling workers there is not money, so they propose no wage increases at the bargaining table for the people that run the university. What will it take for the UC to support its students and workers?”
The State Auditor’s report comes at a time when UC is implementing new tuition hikes and facing criticism over its low-wage, contracting-out practices. In fact, UC tuition has more than tripled since 2002[i] while UC has increased its reliance on contracted positions that allow them to exploit workers with pay as much as 53 percent lower than professional staff.[ii]
The Auditor’s findings seem to confirm systemic problems that students and workers have raised over the years. Moreover, the UC President’s obstruction of the audit begs the question of whether subversion of student and worker issues is intentional.
“Neighborhoods surrounding our Universities are becoming communities of starving students and workers stuck in poverty jobs,” comments Kathryn Lybarger, President of AFSCME Local 3299, UC’s largest employee union. “UC is so busy trying to accommodate the global economy that it won’t admit to the havoc it’s wreaking on local economies.”
To make matters worse, the number of those making at least $500,000 annually at UC grew by 14 percent (to 445) in 2015 while UC’s administrative ranks swelled by 60% over the previous ten years.[iii] Administrative growth and executive compensation at UC have long been a hot-button issue with the public despite consistent scrutiny from students, workers, and lawmakers over the years. Even the State Auditor’s report found that a mere ten executive salaries at the UC Office of the President amounted to more than $3 million.[iv]
“Students, workers, immigrants, women—all of us in California are already having trouble coping with what’s happening at the national level,” adds Lybarger. “The last thing we need is doubt about whose side the University of California is on.”
Last modified: August 11, 2017