Protestors gather at UC Regents meeting in SF

March 24, 2010 7:57:40 PM PDT
A small group of demonstrators gathered outside a meeting of the UC Board of Regents in San Francisco Wednesday morning. Their big concern, of course, is the budget crisis.

Wednesday is a day of committee meetings for the regents, exploring everything from future education policies to the rickety finances of the entire system. Early in the day, they opened things up for public comment and got an earful.

When UC President Mark Yudof began to speak, a group of around 50 union UC employees, sprinkled with a few students, walked out of the meeting. They regrouped outside the community center at Mission Bay for a demonstration.

They say they are angry and afraid that the system will lay off more of them to try and balance the budget.

"They have laid off the lowest-paid workers who are incidentally, mostly people of color," said union leader Judy McKeever. "They have laid them off. They have furloughed them. When someone who's only making $12 an hour gets furloughed 10 percent, some of our workers have not been able to pay their rent."

UC leaders are expected to publically discuss some of their plans for the future at some point. Some of the controversial ideas floating around include three-year degrees and possible attempts to lure more out-of-state students who would have to pay higher fees in California.

Some of Wednesday's more provocative committee meetings will be about compensation for teachers and top administrators, but those meetings are closed to the public.


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