Wednesday, June 07, 2006
The University of California-Santa Cruz (UCSC) has plenty of money to pay big wigs and no money apparently to pay janitors and other campus workers.
Concerns about how UCSC rewards top-ranked employees began last fall after news reports that executives were getting millions in bonuses, housing allowances and other perks while UC was hiking student fees, saying it had no choice due to state funding cutbacks.
Some have had enough.
"We want someone to take responsibility," said Lisa Gustafson of the Coalition of University Employees, a clerical workers union. "We got people working 40 hours a week living in garages."
Gustafson is not alone in her outrage.
The article below comes from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
UCSC protesters confront chancellor
A campus protest Tuesday advocating higher wages for custodians culminated with a standoff in the parking lot outside Chancellor Denise Denton's office where students blocked Denton in her car for about five minutes while performing a skit about racism, according to student witnesses.
"The chancellor said she was going to resolve this problem for quite some time," said Julian Posades, who represents campus employees, with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3288.
In a final push before the close of the school year, about 60 UC Santa Cruz students and employees marched to again press Denton to boost pay for low-wage workers, many of whom are Latino they pointed out.
A campus spokesman could not be reached Tuesday.
On Monday, about 30 custodians protested outside the Chancellor's office, demanding a raise by June 5, according to Posades.
They were met by a Denton spokesman who said any raise would have to wait until at least September when new state funds are made available, said Posades.
The spokesman said Denton would search for other revenue sources in the meantime, according to Posades, who represents campus employees with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3288.
Average pay for those who clean public areas in campus buildings, is about $11 an hour, according to the AFSCME Local 3288, which represents 550 UCSC workers including custodians. The maximum wage for a custodian at UCSC is $13.47 per hour, while the maximum at California State University, Monterey Bay, is $15.40. At Cabrillo College, it tops $17, according to an independent report provided by the union.
The UC system has come under scrutiny after reports in the San Francisco Chronicle that officials quietly approved millions in bonuses, stipends, relocation packages and other cash compensation to high-level administrators during the last year despite facing a budget crisis.