FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Apr. 11, 2023
CONTACT: Frank Valdez, 619-754-1188, [email protected]
UC Workers Call on UC Regents to Increase Worker Pay and Make Housing Affordable
Hundreds to Rally at UC Campuses and Medical Centers Across the State
Oakland: University of California service and patient care workers, alongside students, other UC employees, and community allies will rally across the system on Wednesday, Apr. 12 to call on the UC Board Regents and administrators to immediately increase wages for their lowest paid employees and take action to address the affordability crisis plaguing workers and students systemwide.
Workers, students, and community allies will demand a minimum wage of $25 per hour for all UC workers with guaranteed wage increases that keep pace with the cost of living. Additionally, they will demand the UC invest in the development of more affordable housing for workers and students.
“The University of California knows there’s a housing crunch and they know workers are unable to afford to live anywhere near their work,” said Kathryn Lybarger, president of AFSCME Local 3299, which represents 30,000 of UC’s lowest-paid workers. “But instead of establishing a $25/hour minimum wage and making UC housing affordable for all UC workers, they find the money to give a UC chancellor a half-a-million dollar raise and housing assistance for all chancellors to buy a second home. Enough is enough.”
WHO: UC Union Leaders, Workers, and Community Allies
WHAT: Informational Picket and Rally to Demand Increased Wages and Affordable Housing
- UCLA Luskin Conference Center, 425 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles (11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. & 4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.) – Media Point of Contact: Frank Valdez, (619) 754-1188
- UCSF Parnassus Campus, 505 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA (12p.m. – 1:30p.m.) – Media Point of Contact: Todd Stenhouse, (916) 397-1131
- UCD Medical Center, 4301 X St, Sacramento, CA (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – Media Contact: Kary Salcedo, (916) 699-3325
- UCI Douglas Hospital, 101 The City Drive South, Building 1, Orange, CA (11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) – Media Contact: Gabriela Jimenez, (213) 705-3597
- UCSD Jacobs Medical Center, 9300 Campus Point Drive, La Jolla, CA (11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) – Media Contact: Frank Valdez, (619) 754-1188
WHEN: Wed. Apr. 12, 2023, *Time at locations above
Background: Over the past five years, the share of UC service and patient care workers represented by AFSCME 3299 who are housing cost-burdened rise from 50% to 70%. The most recent census data reveals that over 50 percent of Californians living in occupied rental units are cost-burdened. During this time, UC has sunk more than $7 billion into controversial investments like Blackstone, Inc. — whose reliance on rent increases and other extractive investment models worsen the housing crisis. On Mar. 14, the UC Union Coalition sent President Drake a letter repeating an earlier demand that UC immediately divest its holdings from Blackstone and to invest in the development of more affordable and sustainable housing.
Since February 2021, when inflation began its acceleration, California CPI has increased by 12 percent, far outpacing “real wages” for UC’s lowest paid workers which have declined by five percent over the same period. In contrast, UC has increased the average pay for its chancellors, each of whom earns more than $500K per year, by an 24% over in the past year alone. Taken together, these factors led ASFCME 3299—which represents UC’s lowest paid service and patient care workers—to send President Drake a letter outlining the urgency of establishing a $25 per hour minimum wage back in March.
RSVP to Frank Valdez, AFSCME 3299 Strategic Communications Director, [email protected] or 619-754-1188.