Friday, May 13, 2011

University of California Student Association (UCSA) has joined the effort to oppose the confirmation of David Crane to the UC Board of Regents

UCSA highlight lack of student input and Crane’s stance on collective bargaining

SAN FRANCISCO – The University of California Student Association (UCSA) has joined the effort to oppose the confirmation of David Crane to the UC Board of Regents. In March, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) and UC workers began a campaign to oppose Crane’s confirmation and asked Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) to immediately call a hearing to prevent Crane from continuing to serve as a regent. Such a hearing has not yet been scheduled.

UC students say Crane has failed to reach out to them in any formal capacity to hear about their concerns and experiences.

“It is deeply troubling that students were not informed before this decision,” said Nelson Cortez, a UC Santa Cruz student and board member of UCSA. “The needs and views of students and workers must be prioritized in the appointment of UC Regents. That clearly was not done with Regent Crane’s appointment, and therefore UC students are opposed to his confirmation.”

UCSA also cited Crane’s recent comments questioning the value of collective bargaining for public employees.

In March, Crane took his cue from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) by questioning collective bargaining rights for California’s teachers, nurses, firefighters, university employees, and other public sector workers. Crane argued in an op-ed published in the San Francisco Chronicle that “collective bargaining for public employees in California changed the balance of power and - most importantly - gave public employees power over their compensation and benefits.”

In a statement issued yesterday, UCSA said, “Particularly at a time when collective bargaining rights are under attack around the country, students find it disturbing that Mr. Crane would choose this time to raise questions about this fundamental and essential right for public employees.”

“I commend UCSA for their courageous stance in opposing David Crane to the Board of Regents,” said Yee. “They deserve to have someone who will fight for them and ensure their needs are addressed. Considering recent efforts to privatize the University of California, yet another wealthy investor for a Regent is the last thing students need to protect their public university.”

Crane, a multimillionaire and resident of San Francisco, was appointed to the Board of Regents by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) during his final days in office. Crane must be confirmed by the Senate by the end of the year in order to continue serving as a Regent for a 12-year term.

“Crane promotes a very dangerous agenda that would harm working families in California,” said Yee. “Unlike David Crane, I believe public employees make an enormous contribution to our neighborhoods and our communities. Taking away workers’ collective bargaining rights – which doesn’t help balance the budget or protect vital services – while giving big corporations tax breaks is simply unconscionable.”

What workers are saying about David Crane...

“David Crane has proven, once again, that he is unfit to serve as a regent of the University of California. For us, this is not just a fight for collective bargaining. It is a fight to save the middle class.” – Allan Clark, President, California School Employees Association (CSEA)

“Patient care is my top priority. Because of our union, we were able to work out receiving hours for continuing education to improve our skills in the Radiology Department that allows us to provide a higher quality of patient care. David Crane’s hope to get rid of collective bargaining for public employees is not just an attack on working families—it is an attack on patients and quality care.” – Randy Johnson, UCSF MRI/CT Technologist and AFSCME member

“Nurses know that if the right is successful in their efforts to break our unions, we will no longer have a voice in the political arena to advocate for better and safer care for our patients. Whether it’s in Wisconsin, or at the University of California, we cannot allow that to happen.” – DeAnn McQuen, Council of Presidents, California Nurses Association

“Instead of working to meet our state's challenges, David Crane seems more interested in pursuing a Wisconsin-style political agenda to strip public servants of their rights. Californians roundly reject these kinds of attacks on workers. By pushing a political agenda rather than acting in the interests of California families, Crane has shown he's unfit for important appointments that are intended to serve the public interest.” – Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the California Labor Federation

“Governor Walker in Wisconsin and David Crane in California are trying to turn back the clock to a time when workers had no rights. We will not allow this to happen” – Tim Paulson, Executive Director of the San Francisco Labor Council

“David Crane has repeatedly demonstrated his unwillingness and inability to represent the interests of the public. He is unfit to serve on the Board of Regents or any other public body.” – Matt Hanson, State Engineer and President of the Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG)

“Our opposition to Crane is to yet one more multi-millionaire who made his fortune in investment banking -- just like current Regents Richard Blum, Russell Gould, Hadi Makarechian, Leslie Tang Schilling, George Marcus and Bonnie Reiss. The UC Regents are supposed to represent the people of California, not just the multi-millionaire investment bankers of California. Is it just a coincidence, by the way, that investment bankers in general have an incentive to get people out of institutional defined benefit plans and into individual defined contribution plans? Crane’s op-ed was a red flag to the legislature that this Schwarzenegger appointment must be stopped. I applaud Senator Yee for getting the message and taking action.” – Robert Meister, Professor of Social and Political Thought at UCSC and President of the Council of UC Faculty Associations

“David Crane is free to express his anti-worker views as a private citizen, but he should not have the bully pulpit of the UC Regents. The anti-union campaign he has waged against state employees in California should not be allowed to continue as part of our world class public university system.” – Patty Velez, Environmental Scientist and President of the California Association of Professional Scientists

“Close to 50 percent of the employees in the UC system are covered by collective bargaining agreement. It therefore makes no sense to have a Regent who is against unions and half of the workers. We need Regents who are about education and the people who make the university work.” – Bob Samuels, President of the University Council – American Federation of Teachers

“Every day is a struggle for me and my family to make ends meet. I know high paid UC execs have plans to cut my check even more. It is not right that I am tightening my belt while executives are getting fatter. At least I know that my coworkers and I are guaranteed a voice through my union in decisions that are being made that will affect us, so we can protect our families.” – Arnold Meza, UC Berkeley Custodian and AFSCME member

source: http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/index.asp?Type=B_PR&SEC={EFA496BC-EDC8-4E38-9CC7-68D37AC03DFF}&DE={4F696CAE-2A98-4A03-9B6C-83A775F53106}

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