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Santa Cruz Indymedia

LOCAL Announcement :: Education & Youth : Labor & Economics : Poverty & Urban Development

3-Day CUE Statewide Strike of UC June 13-15


OUT of excuses for why it treats its lower-paid workers so badly, causing AFSCME and UPTE to strike over UC's unfair labor practices, and causing CUE to strike over our terrible wages.

CUE members at UC Santa Cruz will be striking on June 13, 14 and 15 from 6:00am till 6pm.
In 2003-04 bargaining, CUE made a modest pay demand, but UC refused to meet it. CUE scaled its demand down to a 1% general increase and a 1/2 step merit for all employees, including those topped out, all effective retroactively to October 2003. UC still refused to offer an increase.

CUE would not accept that 0% was an OK pay raise for UC's clericals, and the contract was never settled. We went to official impasse status and to fact- finding, where a neutral, state-appointed arbitrator, G. McKay, ruled that UC CAN AFFORD CLERICAL PAY INCREASES & SHOULD GIVE THEM. UC still refused. (Now UC has the nerve to claim that 03-04 bargaining ended with a "compromise," because they gave small increases to fewer than a dozen clericals - out of a work-force of 16,500.

The arbitrator found:

* Wages for UC Administrative Assistant Is and IIs lag behind the market rate by 24%; Administrative Assistant IIIs by 13%.

* Library Assistant pay at UC is 33% less than at CSU. Administrative Assistants earn 22.7% less.

* UC's annual NET income goes up every year; 2003-04 net income was $786 million.

* UC diverted $20 million that was earmarked for clerical salaries to other projects.

Using UC's own figures, economist P. Donohue had already demonstrated that UC has over $5 billion in unrestricted funds that could be used for fair
wages, for offsetting student fee hikes and program cuts. So while UC pays gigantic salaries and bonuses to top administrators, it ignores the people who make UC work, the students who can barely afford fees, and the now-deteriorating academic programs.

UC claims the state budget crisis makes it impossible to give us increases, but UC has plenty of money even with the crisis. Only 1/3 of the funding for clerical salaries comes from the state.

CUE demands the increases that UC refused, effective October 2003, and we demand that UC award the equity adjustments that arbitrator McKay recommended to bring Library Assistant pay in line with Administrative Assistant pay.

UC is out of excuses. And we'll be out on the picket lines next week!

Please join us in this 100% legal strike to tell the administration what you think of clerical salaries at UC.

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CUE wimped out

As a longtime labor supporter, I find this strike action, and CUE leadership to be very ineffective.

Why the decision to wait until finals are done, and most students gone? CUE could have chosen to really hit the UC hard, by striking two weeks ago, in the run-up to finals. Don't you want student solidarity? Do you want to show the UC Regents you REALLY mean business? That's what CUE reps have been shouting into bullhorns for the last four months at every other labor rally on campus.

School's out, who cares, if CUE is on strike in the middle of June? UCSC is like a ghost town now.

To me, this sends a clear message that CUE doesn't want to rock the UC's boat.

Good luck with your strike, I truly hope you get a fair contract, but I wouldn't bet on it.

UC Workers on 3-Day Strike to Demand Wage Increases, Fair Treatment



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