segunda-feira, março 01, 2010

March 4th: Student Strike Against Budget Cuts

Part of the National Day of Action to Defend Public Education: 1 PM on the Quad at University of Washington-Seattle... Rally and picket lines begin

The University of Washington is facing massive budget cuts which means tuition hikes, cuts to financial aid, and overcrowded classrooms for students.

It means layoffs, overwork, dangerous working conditions, furloughs, health care cuts, and union busting for workers.

On March 4th we will fight back to defend our education and our jobs! Students and workers across the country and around the world will be striking on that day, responding to a call emerging from the mass movement against budget cuts in California. Activists in some California cities are even organizing to build for city-wide strikes and actions on the 4th!

Here at UW we have tried rallying several times and it hasn't been enough to stop the cuts. It's time we up the ante by showing the legislators in Olympia that there will be no more business as usual on our campus as long as they try to balance the budget at our expense!

It's also time we show UW President Mark Emmert and the Board of Regents that UW is not for sale to corporations. The budget cuts are no excuse for targeting cuts towards custodians and other immigrant workers, working class students, students of color, women, and queer folks. We need to fight to make sure that UW is open and accessible for ALL people regardless of income!

Strikes are an effective form of struggle and have won concrete victories in California. By walking out of a class students show that this school cannot run without our daily cooperation. We feel our collective power. By setting up picket lines we will try to convince other students to skip class once so that our classes and our classmates will even be here next year! We hope this will inspire more people to join the struggle and will be one step among many toward building the kind of mass movement we need to actually stop these cuts.

Workers at UW, community members, and high school students are invited to come join the picket lines with us. Students will be striking not only for our own demands but for those of workers, high school students, and anyone else affected by budget cuts!

Washington Federation of State Employees Local 1488, SEIU local 925, and UAW local 4121 all decided to support this student strike after months of rank and file mobilization. WFSE Local 1488 is the union that represents thousands of workers and staff members at UW and Harborview. Rank and File WFSE members, especially custodians, have been at the forefront of the struggle against budget cuts; they helped build International Workers and Students for Justice, a group of campus workers, off campus workers, and students. Rank and file teaching assistants in the UAW have also been key organizers of this strike through their organization For a Democratic University. While workers are not necessarily striking at this time many will be coming to the student picket lines after work or will use vacation time to attend. We are building the necessary rank and file organizations to prepare for future actions.

This action overall is called by the UW Student - Worker Coalition, an alliance of undergrad, worker, and grad student organizations that has come together to fight the cuts.

1 comentário:

UC Santa Cruz students promise to deliver one of California's biggest protests on March 4 against public education cuts disse...

Thousands of students at the University of California, Santa Cruz--a center of student activism since the genesis of the growing state-wide movement to defend public education have signed the strike pledge for March 4. Students will block all access to campus in a day of action and solidarity throughout California when people demand an end to 'business as usual' as state leaders and UC administrators force damaging cuts and privatization on public education. We will take this action to demonstrate our power, with the support of workers and faculty, to re-store California's commitment to accessible and high-quality public education for all people.

Why will we strike on March 4?

* The California budget has slashed education funding at all levels while keeping tax breaks for wealthy Californians and corporations;

* Cuts to student support programs and resource centers, Cal Grants, and pre-K through higher ed are racist cuts that make access to a high-quality education at all stages of learning less equal--we want to stop the re-segregation of higher ed;

* UC brought in record amounts of revenue last year (more than enough to off-set the state budget cuts). The 32% fee increase on November 18 and cuts to services, classes, employment hours, financial support for grad students, and jobs are completely unnecessary;

* We're told the economic recession is to blame for the cuts. But students, faculty, and staff should not be made to pay for a crisis caused by Wall Street greed;

* Why are we also fighting against our UC administrators, not just Sacramento? At the UC, an unprecedented growth in recent years in high-pay, low-value non-teaching administrative positions is just one example of the misguided spending priorities within the UC system. From 1996 - 2006, administrative jobs increased a whopping 118% compared to increases of 34% for faculty and 33% for student enrollment. Over 3,600 admin jobs pay over $200,000 at the UC, yet we are being told that our foreign language instructors must be laid-off and our lowest-paid workers must take furloughs. This is just plain wrong, and UC admins are to blame.

* We have the power to stop these cuts if we stand together--teachers, staff, and students from pre-K through higher ed will be taking action on March 4th.

What we will do on March 4:

Students at UCSC are organizing a student strike. This is in solidarity with protests across the state of California. We will hold picket lines at all campus entrances and the following events at the main entrance:

9 AM: Rally

Noon: Rally

5 PM: General Assembly

On March 4, the entire nation will witness throughout California some of the biggest demonstrations of collective power in years when people of all ages and walks of life, from pre-K thru higher ed, fight for access to high-quality public education for ALL people. The economic recession and the state’s budget woes cannot be used as excuses by state leaders to turn the clock back several decades for Californians by gutting public education funding. UC administrators cannot hide behind the state's failed leadership by undemocratically enacting misguided spending priorities that result in paying more money for less education. Students at UC, Santa Cruz, demand state leaders and UC administrators reverse their short-sighted social policies and the privatization of public education.