For the Week of November 07, 2011
This Wednesday (Nov. 9) and next Wednesday (Nov. 16), University of California students, staff and community on most campuses will join their counterparts at the California State Universities to demand a “refunding” of public education. They say that $2.5 billion dollars in new cuts scheduled for December should not be passed on to students and workers. Instead, remedies are available in forthcoming ballot initiatives (such as this one) and legislation to increase taxes on Wall St. and California’s super rich. You can find the list of activities on UPTE’s website.
Meanwhile, CSU professors and lecturers plan walkouts on Tuesday and Wednesday to protest the 1% (executives and regents) who run the university. This foreshadows a systemwide CSU strike scheduled for Nov. 17 over cancelled pay raises and stalled bargaining.
The Orange County Register reports that California’s over $100K pension club has soared 99% in two years, and three in the top 10 are from UC.
But the view from student ranks is very different. How much does an education cost these days? The Project on Student Debt reports that students graduating in 2010 carried an average of $25,000 in student debt. The site has detailed data by state and system. At UC, average student debt ranges from $16,000 to $19,000, and held by 41% to 64% of graduating seniors in 2010.
The number of first year students from California at UC Berkeley dropped by almost 10 percent between 2008 and 2010: from 93.2 percent in 2008 to 83.9 percent in 2010. At UC Davis, the decline was even higher: 18.4 percent from 2006 to 2010.
UC’s staff has also been dramatically affected, particularly those such as administrative professionals who do not yet have the protection of a union contract. Employees with union contracts (such as UPTE’s researchers and techs) have fared much better, including receiving regular cost-of-living and step increases.