(SAN FRANCISCO)—University of California (UC) workers rallied at the CBRE’s San Francisco office on Wednesday in opposition to the actions of former CBRE Chairman and UC Regent Richard C. Blum, which continue to hurt the livelihoods and futures of workers and students alike.
Blum Poverty Centers across the University of California were also targeted as part of Local 2010’s statewide action for fair wages.
“The workers and students at the University of California deserve better from UC leadership,” said Jason Rabinowitz, Teamsters Local 2010 Secretary-Treasurer. “Richard Blum has failed our workers, has failed our members and has failed the state of California. It is time to end poverty at the UC. Richard Blum: Pay workers enough to live.”
Blum is a Regent of the University of California and is a member of the Finance Committee.
Blum recently voted to enact a new round of pension cuts and a redesign of the retirement system to benefit highly-paid UC executives at the expense of retirement security for low-paid staff. During his tenure, he has also voted for UC budgets resulting in the layoffs of thousands of workers, and prioritizing out-of-state enrollment over California residents. Further, as chairman of the UC Board of Regents, he voted for a one-year tuition increase of 32 percent, and recently voted in favor of annual 5 percent tuition hikes going forward.
“Everyone is dipping into loans, credit card debt, or even payday loans to make ends meet at the end of the month,” said Stephen Cruz, Library Assistant III at the Biomedical Library at UC San Diego. “This hurts us personally; it hurts our morale.”
Blum established academic centers throughout the University of California, which investigate the causes and explore solutions to poverty, while the UC has driven down the real wages of administrative support workers by 24 percent over the past two decades, so that over 93 percent of them are paid too little to afford basic necessities of life, according to recent studies.
“I’m used to frugality,” said Lou Ilagan, Continuing Medical Education Coordinator at the UC Irvine School of Medicine. “But even though I budget and spend wisely, my income is so low that I still eat expired food because I can’t afford to throw it away.”
As an anchor public institution, the University of California has a moral obligation to treat its workers fairly, and provide a quality and affordable education to California’s students. However, the treatment of workers and students tells a different reality. Studies have found workers are unable to afford the basic necessities on UC wages, and a new survey found that one-in-five UC students have gone hungry in the past year and that another 23 percent were “food insecure.”
About Teamsters Local 2010
Teamsters Local 2010 is the union representing approximately 14,000 workers throughout the University of California’s campuses and medical centers. The mission of Teamsters Local 2010 is to improve the lives and working conditions of all workers through organizing and union representation.
Teamsters Local 2010 is currently in contract negotiations with the University of California for their three bargaining units covering almost 14,000 members statewide at 10 UC campuses, five UC hospitals, and one national lab.
Teamsters Local 2010 is an affiliate of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents 1.4 million workers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.