Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

LOCAL News :: Globalization & Capitalism : Labor & Economics

AFSCME: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (i.e. The Service Worker Union)

We are Dining Hall Workers, Grounds Keepers, Janitors and Shuttle Drivers. We are the people committed to cooking and serving you meals, keeping the campus trash-free and beautiful, making sure the classrooms and bathrooms are clean and sanitary and taking you across campus to whereever you need to go in the pouring rain, or after a long day.


• Quality service – Expanding the campus with new buildings and dramatically higher student enrollment without hiring additional workers results in a decline in services for the UC community.

• A “chance to advance� – The majority of us are immigrants, women, and/or people of color who are not given the proper training or opportunity by UC to be promoted out of entry-level jobs.

• Improve our families’ lives – We are demanding that UC help our families move out of poverty by giving us guaranteed raises.


1. UC service workers’ wages do not cover the bare-bones costs of raising a family: 93% of UC service workers earn wages that would not meet basic needs for a single adult with a child, and 46% earn wages that would not meet basic needs for a two wage-earner, two child family (if both adults earned the same amount).

2. For many service workers, UC wage levels are not sufficient for a single adult without children: 35% of UC service employees earn wages that would not be adequate to meet basic needs for a single adult.

3. UC’s wage rates are substantially lower than those of employees performing the same work at comparable institutions: UC senior custodian wage rates are 15% less than those for employees performing the same work in the California State University system and 26% less than their counterparts at community colleges.

4. UC food service workers earn wages so low that they are income eligible to qualify for nine major publicly-funded welfare benefit programs.

Sources: Aimee Durfee & Tim Lohrentz, NEDLC; Deborah Frankle, MSW Candidate, San Francisco State University.


For more information, contact AFSCME Local 3299 at 425-4822 or check out


“We may not be professors or executives—but all workers deserve decent wages, respect, and opportunities to move up. It is outrageous that the top executives get bonuses of more than $50,000—nearly twice our yearly salary. We are not trying to be greedy like that; we just want to see a better future for our families.�

- Maria Padilla

UCSC Food Service Worker


Click on image for a larger version


photos by: bradley (at)

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