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UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

January 19. 2006 - At approximately 12PM, hundreds of custodians (and their student supporters) at UC Santa Cruz skipped lunch to demand just wages.

The workers, part of the union AFSCME, recently found out that custodians at nearby colleges receive 14-30% more than they do, for the same (or less) work. Far from being a living wage, many UCSC custodians are working two/three jobs to make ends meet. This is at the same time that the UC system has raised student fees almost 80% over the past few years, and have given almost a billion dollars of executive perks for top UC employees, approximately the same amount of money as the student fee increases. Recently, Denice Denton, UCSC's Chancellor, claimed that Robert Dynes, the UC President, should be given an even higher salary. Dynes already makes more than $400,000 a year.

Meanwhile, the UC claims they have no money for the lowest-paid workers, academic programs, student initiated outreach and retention, and scores of other programs. It appears that there is not a lack of money, but a lack of decent priorities - not a budget crisis but a moral crisis.

The spirited rally, organized by AFSCME, with the support of the Student and Worker Coalition for Justice (SWCJ), is the continuation of a hard-fought struggle for the dignity of UCSC's lowest paid workers.

Speakers included:

* Julian, Yolanda, and a few other AFSCME workers.
* Maria, Marla, and Javier from the SWCJ.
* Dana Frank (prof of History)
* American Federation of Teachers (AFT) member
* Tony Madrigal (City Council, SEIU)
* Robert Chacanaca from the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council (MBCLC)
Click on image for a larger version

Click on image for a larger version

Yolanda, a respected AFSCME worker, and Julian (holding mic).
Click on image for a larger version

Click on image for a larger version

Marla from the Student and Worker Coalition for Justice.
A worker (wearing an AFSCME shirt under his jacket) speaks with a representative of the media.
Click on image for a larger version

These flyers were posted all over campus prior to the rally.
Click on image for a larger version

close up.
All photos are free and available to use by the workers, students, and organizers of AFSCME 3299 and the Student and Worker Coalition for Justice. Please contact sugarloaf (at) for additional/larger photos, or to reprint.

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Re: UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

Hmmm. Sounds like it's time to apply for a job at Cabrillo

Re: UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

how come the article does not state what the custodians are actually getting in wages and benefits? Give us some dollar amounts please.

Re: UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

Here is a job description for ucsc which shows the wages and benefits.

Re: UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

When will the one-quarter-of-partying-here-before-returning-to-original-university students stand up for local residents? UCSC broke their agreement, accepting too many students. As a result, rental prices go up. Cheap UCSC labor drives wages into the ground. The amount of cheap UCSC labor overwhelms those of us trying to secure below living wage wages. This situation has persisted for years. When will UCSC students take responsibility for their impact?

Re: UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

1800/month/plus benefits is cheap?? who are you trying to bullshit

Re: UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

Dear Anon,

Don't take your beef out on the students themselves. Many of us are opposed to the expansion of UCSC. Instead your beef should be with the UCSC Administration and UCOP/UC Regents.

As students, especially those of us involved with SWCJ, we're trying to increase wages for everyone - especially low-income campus workers.

Re: UCSC Custodians Demand Justice


Credible Threats

With Santa Cruzans in an uproar over any number of police surveillance scandals--Bush's illegal wiretapping of citizens who make overseas phone calls; the Pentagon's classification of the demonstration at the UCSC Career Fair last April as a "credible threat"; and the SCPD's infiltration of private homes during the "un-planning" phase of the Last Night D.I.Y. Parade--Nüz was intrigued by rumors that one highly placed local resident has actually been demanding that police watch her. Day and night.

Nüz is talking about UCSC chancellor Denice Denton, who our source says has been demanding around-the-clock security detail since August 2005.


Re: UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

Having been a member of Afscme for a few years, and being a general supporter of their union on campus, I do think that it is going to be hard for them to argue that the wages up on the hill are that much lower than others in their respected field. I actually think that for janitorial work, they are paid rather well when you consider their entire income (benefits, etc…)

Re: UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

For the record, the name of the worker appearing in the 8th picture down is Eduardo. He's the custodian for Stevenson's House 2 dorm, among other places, and a very friendly guy.

Re: UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

I'm sure you have good intentions but where is that money coming from, increased student fees, other departmental cuts, or increased state taxes? The fees and taxes options are already hurting students and taxpayers.

Re: UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

Top UC administrators received almost a billion dollars in perks - in addition to their hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary. That's where this money should come from. Eliminate the lucrative perks and provide a living wage for the lowest paid workers!

Re: UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

billions in perks? would you mind providing a link to the evidence?

Re: UCSC Custodians Demand Justice

you're a smart fella - look it up yourself.. google it and then post it here.


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