AP Voices: Administrative professionals organizing for change
September 21, 2012
Public Workers: The new public enemy?
Somehow, public workers have become the scapegoat for the state’s fiscal crisis.

In 1960, Californians set in motion a blueprint to make higher education available to all qualified people, regardless of their income.

sather gate
Sather Gate, UC Berkeley

The University that grew from this shared commitment became world-renowned, a source of fierce pride for Californians. “Civil service” was a term of respect--recognition that those working at the University and in other public posts were accepting lower salaries to contribute to the common good.

How times have changed.

As a headline in the Chronicle of Higher Education put it, “California’s gold standard for education has fallen on hard times.” The master plan lies in shambles. Students graduate saddled with crushing debt.

And a new myth has gained popularity, one that scapegoats “overcompensated public workers” and “bloated pensions” for the system’s underlying lack of funding.

We don’t need to tell you that the average university employee isn’t rolling in dough -– nor will we be when we retire. But apparently we do need to tell this to political pundits, newspaper editorial writers, and even some of our own neighbors.

By joining together as part of UPTE, administrative professionals can be sure our stories are heard.

Together, we can tell the truth about the vital services provided by university employees, and the support that will be needed to restore our once-proud system. Vote yes on Proposition 30!
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