Friday, November 20, 2009

Revolution on University of California Campuses

To deal with the budgetary crisis in California, the state cut nearly 10% of its educational budget, or $2.8 billion including $813 million from the university system. That ranks us at the bottom 48/50 in spending for education.

In September 2009, staff and faculty at universities had their salary reduced by 4-10%. To add insult to injury, the state now is "borrowing" state employee money from our paychecks in the form of increased taxes to the tune of 10%. This "forced, interest free loan" will be paid back some time in April. Mind you, university employees are some of the lowest paying professionals to begin with. Not to mention we live in some of the costliest areas in the nation.

Additionally, on November 2009 the University of California's Board of Regents voted to increase student fees by 32%. That's an 83.2% fee increase since I began my employment at UC Davis in 2003. My students, many of whom come from working class families from the Central Valley region and Bay Area, were already working at least two jobs. Now, I imagine, many will drop out or have to work 3-4 jobs to remain in school. When would they even have time to study with that kind of schedule?

But, all is not lost. The UC Regents also voted on November 2009 for a 3% "annual merit" salary increase for the top university administrators. Some of whom make well over 400k. This is not including free housing, car and moving costs. Nice to know where our hard earned tax money is going. Glad some people are taken cared of during this depression.

Students and staff at the university level are not taking all this lying down anymore. Staff and faculty have re-energized the union and are striking. Students have organized rallies and occupied school buildings in protest. See below the beginnings of a revolution!

UCD students occupy Olson Hall November 19, 2009.
UCD students protestors taken from Mrak Hall November 19, 2009 and 53 were arrested by riot police.
UC Berkeley November 18, 2009 student rally and strike.
UCLA November 19, 2009 protest where 14 students got arrested.

1 comment:

Lún Ghẻ said...

Nice and very sad, very sad review.Châu.