Union to picket, deploring huge top management pay, pensions
"They get golden handshakes when they retire, and we get cat food!" That will be the rallying cry tomorrow (Jan. 31) as University of California workers and students stage protests at UC medical facilities and all ten UC campuses. The demonstrations are sponsored by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Locally, the protests will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Thornton Hospital; 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the UCSD Medical Center-Hillcrest, and 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the UCSD campus.
The protesters point out that outgoing UC President Mark Yudof, after only five years of service, will retire with a $230,000 annual pension. Since 2002, in-state tuition in the UC system has more than tripled as the burden of supporting bloated pay and pensions shifts to students. UC will spend $400 million in retirement benefits for 140 UC top executives after they retire, says the AFSCME. But a new employee hired after this year, making an average $30,000 a year, will face a 110% pay cut after retiring with 20 years of service, says the union.