By Tina Butoiu

Approximately 40 UCSD students and service workers marched in protest to the Chancellor’s complex on Tuesday, October 18 against the recently announced layoffs at the UC Irvine Medical Center. UC Irvine will be laying off 175 workers, 68 of whom are members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Esteban Salcedo, service representative and organizer from the local 3299 branch of AFSCME and 2012 UCSD alumnus, stated to the UCSD Guardian said they held the protest at 9:00 a.m. because this was when most workers would be available to protest. UC Irvine held a whole-day event from 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Salcedo also said that the UC Irvine Medical Center made approximately $40 million in profits last year but that, in spite of this, workers are still being laid off. In addition to protesting the layoffs at UC Irvine, the students marched to speak out against the layoffs taking place at UCSD. In regard to why the UCSD workers were laid off, Salcedo said administrators told AFSCME it was because of budget issues.

“Today was a statewide day of action; all UC campuses and medical centers attempted delegation to speak with the chancellor or CEO,” Salcedo said. “Workers and students came together to deliver the message that we’re sticking with our fellow co-workers at UC Irvine who were recently laid off, and also to say we’re not going take layoffs here at UCSD, because they just announced that four workers are going to be laid off from the bookstore. Their final day will be December 9th. It’s just letting them know that students and workers are together against layoffs.”

Protesters, however, were not allowed to enter and speak with administrators. Students who attended the protest, including the Executive Director of the Student Organized Voter Access Committee Liam Barrett, described the reaction of administrators as being reflective of a systemwide attitude.

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[Source]: UCSD Guardian