Author: Wayne

The University of California is a Losing Battle with the Workers

The University of California is a Losing Battle with the Workers

Letters to the Editor: UC defends its contract offer in labor talks to avert a strike

March 14, 2013

The University of California is the second-largest college and university in the United States. It’s also the third-largest employer in the state. In fact, the number of Californians employed by the University of California has more than doubled since 2000, reflecting a massive influx of new students and a growing economy.

And yet, the University’s top officials recently decided to continue what’s clearly a losing battle with the workers they were supposed to represent. To their credit, UC leaders said yes when they were asked to meet with the unions to discuss the status of the negotiations, and they didn’t put their foot down until all parties – UC, the unions, and the California Legislature – had agreed to a contract agreement.

The UC also recently offered to increase its pay offer to its employees by a whopping $100-plus to offset the cost of its recent contract deal. This, too, must be applauded.

This is the same UC that is on pace to set a record for the highest number of California students enrolled in its four-year college programs (2.6 million in fall 2012) and one of the highest number of students from out of state (2 million this fall).

UC is also the public university that many of you proudly remember from the 1989 anti-nuclear walkout that forced Gov. Pete Wilson to back down at a time when he was a leading proponent for a nuclear power plant at the San Onofre nuclear power plant in southern Orange County.

In fact, President Mark Yudof – who, despite his previous anti-nuclear record, was instrumental in getting the deal signed – has become one of the most successful governors in California history.

If our state continues at its current pace of population growth, the University of California and the UC system will account for a quarter of all projected revenue for the

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