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Statewide Rally Draws Crowd at UCR

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The first-ever statewide rally to defend quality education, healthcare and research at the University of California drew more than 100 Riverside campus workers on Feb. 26.

They braved the downpour to join with other union members throughout the State of California in protest against mistreatment and mismanagement by UC.

Members of the Coalition of University Employees (CUE), who represent over 18,000 clerical employees in the UC system, were joined by members of UPTE, AFT, UAW, AFSCME, and CNA.

They marched in the rain across the campus, ending in a rally at the campus administration building. Patrick King, a representative for Senator Nell Soto, read a statement of support.

CUE, which is made up of a large number of minority and single mothers, has been negotiating with UC for 2 years for a fair and equitable contract.

The University is currently offering what amounts to a pay cut for these employees. UC, according to its latest Annual Report, has over $4 billion dollars in unrestricted funds which could be used to bring these workers' salaries up to market rate.

According to Rita Skinner, a clerical worker at UCR, "This is not about the State budget. UC receives less than 1/3 of its budget from State funds. UC has the money, they choose not to spend it on their workers. UC could lend the State money."

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