State Senator Leland Yee Tells UC Regents: Enact Sacramento Mandate to Keep Low Wage UC Workers Out of Poverty

Workers & Students Drive Home Message at Millionaire Regent Marcus’ Restaurant

Media Advisory for Wednesday
September 14, 2011

(San Francisco)– On Wednesday, Senator Leland Yee (D- San Francisco) will address the University of California Board of Regents and deliver a letter from prominent state Assemblymembers and Senators calling on the Regents to uphold the California State Budget mandate and honor their promise to keep low wage workers out of poverty. After increasing benefits costs, outsourcing, and other UC actions have threatened low wage workers ability to support their families, State lawmakers specifically directed 2011-12 State Budget General Funds for UC to meet their contractual obligation to UC’s lowest paid workers.

“It is a shame that once again we need to step in to make sure the University of California follows the law and does the right thing. Skirting their commitment to keep low wage workers and their families from slipping back into poverty not only hurts these families but slows down our communities’ economic recovery.”
– State Senator Leland Yee

UC’s lowest wage workers include custodians, food service workers, bus drivers and others throughout the 10 campus/5 medical center system. As recently as 2008, 96% of UC’s service workers were eligible for some type of public assistance. An agreement was made in 2009 that was intended to provide a financial ladder for these workers and their families to climb out of poverty.

At the same time, UC executives continue to perpetuate poverty wages in our communities through the outsourcing of custodial work at UC Irvine.
Frequent public comments by UC leadership about their intention not to honor their commitment to low-wage workers spurred the legislature’s letter demanding that UC protect its most vulnerable and stop impeding economic recovery in our communities.

Executive compensation will again be considered this month, and likely approved, while students and workers are being asked to tighten their belts. Since September 2010, $5.8 Million has been approved in executive compensation increases within the UC system.

Wednesday evening, workers and students will echo Sen. Yee’s call to action at millionaire Regent George Marcus’ high-end restaurant, Kokarri, in San Francisco.

WHO: Sen. Leland Yee, UC workers and students
WHAT: Demand UC Regents follow the law by using money designated in the state budget to keep low wage workers out of poverty
WHERE & 8am UC Regents Meeting, UCSF Mission Bay, Community Center (1675 Owens St.)
WHEN: 6pm Kokarri Restaurant (200 Jackson St.)