90 percent of academic student employees and over 70 percent postdocs are rent-burdened according to criteria laid out by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
When: Thursday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m.
Where: Genentech Building, Mission Bay Campus
San Francisco, Calif. – At 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24, UCSF student workers and members of UAW 2865, 5810 and SRU (Student Researchers United-UAW) will rally outside Genentech Hall at the Mission Bay campus to demand that UC act to address the housing crisis faced by thousands of their workers. The unions represent more than 48,000 workers at UC.
On average, UC academic workers spend more than half of their income on rent, including those who reside in university housing. And, according to criteria laid out by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 90 percent of academic student employees and over 70 percent postdocs are rent-burdened.
“Rent burdened,” according to the federal definition, means you are required to spend more than 30 percent of your salary on rent. The average ASE pays more than 50 percent of their income on rent.
UC forces academic workers to take on even more debt, or puts higher education out of reach for many aspiring scholars.
Rent burden disproportionately affects those without familial wealth or support, including individuals who are Black, Latino, LGBTQ, undocumented or from other marginalized communities. Economic support for the high cost of housing in California will improve representation in higher education.
By not addressing the rent burden, UC forces academic workers to take on even more debt, or puts higher education out of reach for many aspiring scholars.
“UC regents just chose to give their top executives six-figure salaries and free housing, but demands austerity for low-income workers and students,” said Melissa Méndez, a UCSF worker and Ph.D. student.
“UC is the state of California’s largest landlord, and we are demanding that they take steps to end the housing crisis they had a hand in creating. Today we are asking UC to do the right thing: ensure that no Academic Worker suffers from rent burden.”
The protesters are united around a set of demands they will present to administrators:
- We demand that the UC eliminate rent burden so that no academic worker pays more than 30 percent of their income in housing.
- We demand that the UC provide all academic workers with affordable and quality housing near work and housing subsidies appropriate to the local cost of living, in order to reduce climate impacts, promote environmental justice and improve diversity at UC and protect affordability and housing security in the broader community.
- We demad the UC guarantee university housing for academic workers who face discriminatory housing practices.
For more information, email Patrick Dexter at firstname.lastname@example.org.