A delegation of Academic Student Employees, also known as UAW 2865, gathered in front of the doors of Mrak Hall yesterday to deliver an oversized report card to the UC administration for failing to meet their needs.
The report card failed the university on several counts including its inability to share the budget crisis burden equitably and its lack of efforts in making UC affordable and accessible.
“It is a question of priority; you can either have high quality education or higher, better-paid administrators,” said Molly Ball, the Davis representative for ASE. “The quality of education should be the highest priority for the UC.”
The union’s current contract with UC expires in two days. ASE is urging UC to consider the students’ wages, workload, healthcare coverage and other needs.
ASE performs a majority of the face-to-face teaching – running discussions and lab sections, holding office hours, grading, tutoring and performing other instructional services – for tens of thousands of undergraduate students at UC, according to a UAW 2865 press release.
Union members have experienced a 2 percent reduction of ASE positions following the budget crisis, Ball said.
The group of TAs and tutors outside Mrak Hall spotted Chancellor Linda Katehi during their protest and requested that she listen and respond to their concerns. Students asserted that they were salient to UC Davis functions and their contributions should be recognized and fairly rewarded.
“I do the best I can to support the campus,” said Katehi.
Katehi said it is difficult to allot for all needs in the school’s budget.
“This is not just one piece,” she said.
NOURA KHOURY can be reached at email@example.com.