Letters to the Editor: How UC has exploited the student academic workers on strike
December 13, 2013
Here are some points I would like to make to the current strike at the University of California, Merced. (Note: I am not a teacher and the facts and data presented is all from news reports, blogs and articles.)
1. From what I have read, the union is getting about 5 percent of the union fees. They are basically collecting the union fees but instead of using them to buy out the student academic workers they are using them to pay all the student services that they no longer have on campus, including the Academic Senate and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. If the University’s financial report is correct, the union paid about 20.4 percent of the fees. They are paying $2.4 million a year in fees out of $5.4 million in money received under the contract.
2. They claim that the union got about $5 million in union fees from the Academic Senate alone. How can that be? It is like the union got $5 million and gave the Academic Senate $2 million. Maybe the unions are not reporting the money they got from the Academic Senate accurately?
3. The University is claiming that the union was supposed to pay the $26.9 million annual fee to support the California State University (CSU) system. However, it was only supposed to pay about $4.5 million of that fee. The rest of the $17.6 million fee has gone for a variety of other things and not paid to the UC Merced employees. It is not clear whether these were the union fees that were included in the $26.9 million fee or the Union Fees that were not included in the fee and were therefore lost.
4. The University is claiming the union got $3.9 million through employee discounts and union dues. Of course, the union has not paid any of these discounts or union dues to the University employees (or students) who voted