Editors, Daily Planet:
As Richard Brenneman highlights events and issues at UC Berkeley in 2007 (BDP v.9, #77) he omitted some good stuff concerning workers on campus. Local 3299 of AFSCME chalked up important achievements this past year, we won a pay equity struggle to bring the lowest paid food services and custodial pay up from poverty wages a dollar or so and established protection of workplace language rights and restitution of faulty pension calculations for employees at the International House.
Numerous commencement speakers honored our request to stay away from graduation when informed of the equity dispute, and some Democrat candidates for president refused to come on campus. We would like to thank them for their solidarity.
In other news, UAW-represented academic student employees won wage and contract improvements while the coalition of UC labor unions—including UPTE Professional and Technical Employees, CUE clericals, UC-AFT lecturers and librarians, UAW Academic student employees, AFSCME service workers and patient care employees and CNA—successfully blocked pension-withholding increases for all 10 campuses, took up the struggle of toxic pollution at the Richmond field station and are working across boundaries to help the unions that are currently in or soon entering in to contract negotiations.
Hank Chapot, Oakland
UCB central campus gardener