reclaimucsd

Archive for April, 2012|Monthly archive page

AB 889: Recognizing Worker’s Rights

In California on April 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm

[The following is a statement prepared for a press conference on April 17th]

I’d just like to start with the background that put this bill in perspective for me, and made me realize how important it is. According to a UCLA study on wage theft against low-wage workers in LA, found that three out of four child care workers are the targets of minimum wage violations. Child care workers were the most likely to experience minimum wage violations, but their findings for other domestic workers were abominable as well. One in three maids and housekeepers, and one in five home health care workers in the study experienced minimum wage violations. [1]

This adds up. The legislative analysis for this bill cited an estimation that there are 200,000 domestic workers in this state.[2] The UCLA study estimated that on average workers lose $39.81 out of $318.00 per week, or 12.5 percent. Assuming that violations in LA are representative of the state, an extremely conservative estimate of annual wages lost by all domestic workers in the state would be 414 million dollars per year. [1]

What is happening right now is labor rights violation on a massive scale, but the arguments against it are mainly economic: increased costs for casual employers, increased costs for violators, increased administrative costs etc. (Costs which a UC Berkeley fact sheet found to be minimal [3], or which the legislative analysis said are covered by state surcharges [2]) But even if these were valid economic arguments, they have no place in a discussion of rights. And this is where students should find common struggle.

California students are offered economic explanations for why their fees increase and their education is cut. Of course, there are very strong economic arguments for why hikes and cuts should not happen. But more importantly, as in the case of domestic workers rights, economic explanations are in some ways inappropriate to address an issue of rights: the right to a healthy work environment, the right to an education.

Claiming higher education as a right is relatively new, and it is part of our struggle for it to be recognized as such. But the right to a healthy work environment is not new, and in many ways it is much more fundamental. Denial of a right to higher education can mean debt, unemployment, and lost human potential. But denial of a right to healthy work can mean stress, depression, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, [3] and even injury resulting in permanent disability. That is why the right to a healthy work environment is already recognized and enforced for workers in other occupations. It is a tragic failure of our public discourse that this bill is as controversial as it is.

Students especially, should apply themselves to understand this bill, and to recognize the shared struggle represented in it, and to express their solidarity by explaining this bill to those who misunderstand it, and to endorse this bill as part and parcel of a struggle for human dignity and basic rights. I certainly do.

—————————————————————

[1] Cited in legislative analysis:
Word Doc: http://totalcapitol.com/tools/download.php?analysis_id=238319
Official:http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0851-0900/ab_889_cfa_20110825_131735_sen_comm.html
UCLA Study: http://www.irle.ucla.edu/events/2010/pdf/LAwagetheft.pdf
[2] Word Doc: http://totalcapitol.com/tools/download.php?analysis_id=238319
Official:http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0851-0900/ab_889_cfa_20110825_131735_sen_comm.html
[3] http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/research/FactSheet_062111.pdf

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Candlelight Police Station “Attack”

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2012 at 11:21 pm

UC Irvine brought it last Thursday, projecting images of police violence onto the exterior of the UCIPD.

On the night of April 19, we  met at the UC Irvine campus police station at 8:00—undergraduate and graduate students, a few faculty, and a light brown dachshund named Chewy. We plugged a projector and laptop into an outlet behind a tree and threw on the exterior wall of the station facing Pereira St. a compilation of footage of the last few years’ campus police violence: the infamous beatings of protesters last November in Berkeley, the pepper-sprayings of students at Davis, Santa Monica City College, and the CSU Regents’ meeting at Cal State Long Beach;  militarized police confrontations with peaceful students at Riverside and Irvine.

http://aprojectoftakebackuci.tumblr.com/

Undergraduate Experience Survey

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2012 at 3:15 am

Hey Everyone!
You should all take the Undergraduate Experience Survey!
You get in a drawing for iPads and stuff!
here’s the link: http://ucues.ucsd.edu/

At the very end, when they ask for any more comments, please copy and paste this information:
DEMAND 1: CLICS BE REOPENED IMMEDIATELY

DEMAND 2: PERMANENT FUNDING FOR THE CRITICAL GENDER STUDIES PROGRAM AND EXPANSION OF SUPPORT FOR CURRENTLY UNDERFUNDED
DEPARTMENTS, INCLUDING THOUGH BY NO MEANS LIMITED TO, ETHNIC STUDIES, LITERATURE, VISUAL ARTS, AND HISTORY.

DEMAND 3: WE DEMAND OASIS CONTINUOUSLY RECEIVE MANDATED, PERMANENT, BUDGET-CRISIS FREE FUNDING FROM THE UNIVERSITY SINCE OASIS IS A FORCE ON CAMPUS AT THE FOREFRONT OF RETAINING STUDENTS.

DEMAND 4: FULL FUNDING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DEMANDS OF THE BLACK STUDENT UNION SIGNED IN MARCH 2010

DEMAND 5: FUNDING FOR STUDENT RESOURCES

DEMAND 6: WORKERS’ WAGES, BENEFITS, AND PENSIONS

DEMAND 7: ESTABLISH AN ISLAMIC STUDIES MINOR.

also, in the section asking if I had additional comments about how the cost of my education is affecting me, I wrote:

I believe that the privatization of the University is a despicable trend that must be actively fought against at the University administrative level. It is appalling to know that management outnumbers faculty on this campus – that is not what we, the STUDENTS, should be paying for.
It is appalling to know that the Regents and their lackeys, the Chancellors, are willing to put the burden of debt on students when opportunities and earning-power continues to decrease, and student debt continues to balloon (past credit card debt, even).
The students of this campus have tried time and time again this year to entire into dialogue with the administration – even resorting to camping in your Conference Room for two weeks. We have some of the best-articulated demands this campus has seen in the past decade (other than the demands of the BSU from 2010, which still have not been implemented yet).
Instead of listening to us when we take over libraries and demand dialogue, what do you do?
YOU LIE TO THE WORKERS YOU HIRED AND CALLOUSLY FIRE THEM, DECEIVE AND TRICK US, AND REFUSE TO LET US TAKE PART IN THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS.
Chancellor Fox, you are a pathetic pawn for the interests of the Regents. Don’t you dare point to any of the activism done here and co-opt it into “letting students express their free voice”.
Suresh Subramani, Penny Rue, Gary Ratcliff, Gary Matthews, Barbara Sawrey, and every other administrator that has pretended to listen to the students, or advertised to incoming freshman that you are “here to listen” – know that the students are becoming more and more aware of your insidious ways. You may think that you can continue to put more money in your pockets, and close libraries, and create more Campus Climate committees where all the dirty laundry can be shoved behind closed doors, but the times are changing. The Public Education Coalition is not going anywhere. We will continue to be a hornet’s nest in your house of cards. We will not leave you alone until the University is restored to its original purpose.
Public Education is a RIGHT, not a privilege.
I hope to personally deliver a pink slip to each and every one of you before I leave this university.
Sean Estelle

I encourage people to copy and paste this and write their names. When the same text is repeated, folks might actually pay attention.

Prioritize Students, Not Politician Interests

In California, Privatization on April 18, 2012 at 8:00 am

Dear Editor,

Amazing the things you can do if you’re wealthy. If you’re a politician or university administrator, you can help run our country or university into bankruptcy while enriching yourself. You can hire friends to write garbage reports about UC ‘leftism’ because it fits your agenda.

Of course the UCs are leftist,with administration slashing the number of transfer students, raising tuition to unobtainable levels for the poor and working class, and removing affirmative action that leveled the playing field for those struggling to get into the racist UCs. The UCs and the state perpetuate the problems of rich becoming richer and well educated, leaving the masses out of opportunity and forced into shitty jobs to fuel the 1 percent!

The report that the Guardian decided to waste space with fails to even define “Leftist,” i.e. anti-capitalist. Recent polls by conservative agencies have found that our generation, especially folks of color and poor folks, are increasingly becoming critical of, if not anti-capitalist, and our politicians and university administration are doing everything in their power to fight these trends from suppressing free speech and activism through campus stay away orders, barring students unjustly from political activities, to arresting, beating and pepper-spraying them.

As Michael Parenti writes, bias “…moves in more or less consistent directions, favoring management over labor…and conservative commentators and columnists over progressive or radical ones.”

Read every statement from UC administration (and the Guardian) who claim to be on our side but carry the state’s bias that we are “out of money,” “K-12 teachers are paid too much,” “people must be patient” and “things are complex.”

When in reality, we have the money to fully fund education, but it comes at the expense of dismantling the bias that administration and the state push on student and workers. Radical and leftist are words used to isolate small groups. The vast majority of this nation and world, even Republican Californians, are what we’d call ‘radical’ politically, wanting free, not fee-d public education, universal healthcare, an end to our illegal wars and think “from each according to their ability to each according to their needs” is in the U.S. Constitution.

It’s time to fight for a university that actually prioritizes the interests of students and workers, not the red-baiting fears of politicians and administration. The poor and middle class pay a disproportionate amount of our taxes compared to the wealthy for an education that has increasingly become unaffordable.

To organize with students and workers who are fighting to reclaim our university, come to Public Education Coalition meetings Mondays at 7 p.m. at the SRC in Price West.

—Nikolai Smith

Ph.D., Department of Sociology

[originally published in the 4/17/12 issue of The Guardian]

Hard Copies Available: Report On Privatization of the UC

In California, Privatization, Reclaim CLICS on April 17, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Our educational outreach team was very fortunate to receive a grant from The Green Initiative Fund on campus to publish 1750 copies of the Report On The Privatization Of The UC. Copies will be available in the community centers (Cross Cultural Center, LGBT Resource Center, Women’s Center, Sustainability Resource Center) and various other locations across campus. If you can’t find the printed edition on campus, or don’t go to UCSD, please leave a comment with your email, or email us at MarchforMarch2012@gmail.com.

For this printed edition a new cover was lifted from a poster made by one of our supporters, some sections were revised, missing citations were added, all new charts were added, and typographical errors were corrected by a helpful copy-edit volunteer.

The booklets were printed by Inkworks, a workers collective in Berkeley, on recycled chlorine-free paper using soy based inks.

The digital version was updated as well.

Digital Version

Print Version