October 05, 2009
AFSCME Local 3299, which represents 20,000 workers at the ten campuses and five medical centers in the University of California system, is fighting to prevent budget cuts, fee hikes, layoffs and furloughs during this economic crisis.
Unfortunately, the union is also trying to set the record straight concerning some misleading and outright incorrect statements made in September by UC Pres. Mark Yudof during his budget outlook address to the Board of Regents. Among his outrageous assertions was this remark:
“We asked to engage with the unions and they would not even meet with us. Particularly Lakesha Harrison at the AFSCME union. They wouldn’t give us the time of day.”
Not true, says Harrison, who is president of Local 3299 and also an AFSCME International vice president. In a video rebuttal, Harrison says:
“The truth is I have requested meetings with President Yudof and he has refused. I met multiple times with other UC officials who requested, received and now refuse to engage in a set of sensible budget solutions for UC. Our union presented these budget solutions over a month ago, which would have saved UC campuses from devastating reductions to essential services.”
Harrison adds that AFSCME is “ready, willing and able” to work with UC to find reasonable alternatives to furloughs and layoffs, and to prevent devastating reductions to essential services. Also, she says her request to meet with Yudof “remains open.”
Watch Harrison’s video statement to learn what else Yudof got wrong.
Also, check out these stories in the San Francisco Bay Guardian and Los Angeles Times about thousands of UC faculty, staff, workers and students who protested in September about budget cuts, increased fees, layoffs and poor management.