Worker-Student Alliance

coming together to end slave-wages at UCI

Who we are

The Worker-Student Alliance is a broad coalition of workers and students at the University of California, Irvine, who are demanding the administration in-house the currently sub-contracted food service and groundskeeper workers on campus.

Where we are now

The Struggle Continues…After a full year of political struggle across four UC campuses—Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Berkley, and Irvine—workers and students forced the state to approve an estimated $8.5 million to improve the working conditions of the UC’s most exploited service workers. This effort consisted of numerous rallies, petitions, letters to the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor, banner droppings, a storming of the administration building. Only after a year did the state approve the funds necessary to in-house the workers. Included in these funds was the money necessary for the insourcing of our own Commercial Landscaping Service (CLS) Workers.

Locally, workers and students at UCI were able to compel the administration into a compromise that would benefit the CLS workers. The Chancellor signed a letter in which he promised to personally negotiate health care for the CLS workers if the state budget did not include money for the insourcing of these workers by the year 2006-07, and to inhouse all the workers by Fall 2007. The insourcing would pay these workers wages equal to those of other University employees, as well as provide healthcare for them and their families, grant them the sick days and holidays afforded to all other university employees, and allow them the option to seek union representation.

Despite the fact that we have signed letters from the very politicians who lobbied for the $8.5 million to be added to the budget for the insourcing of the workers, the Office of the President is denying these funds even exist, claiming that there is no such money in the budget, and refusing to release the money allotted specifically to inhouse these workers.

Moreover, there is now speculation that the university will try to undercut the union that has been advocating the insourcing of the workers by offering health benefits and higher wages to appease the workers, but offering these incentives through the outsourcing company, CLS. This would still subject the workers to this outsourced company that may very well eliminate these “benefits” in the near future since they are not under any university obligation to provide the same benefits that all other university employees receive.

The contracted company will undoubtedly:

  • raise wages and provide benefits comparable to UC standards in order to appease the workers and avoid the insourcing process, then subject them to the same arbitrary changes in the future
  • reassign specific workers to different places and activities in order to disrupt group cohesion by means isolation

There is no price that can be put on the respect of a fellow human being. The university administration is failing on its promiseto inhouse these workers, and saying that these people do not deserve to be treated as equals. Apparently, they believe that with enough money anyone can be brought and silenced.

Don’t let the BOSSES continue this reign, stand and let them know that we will not be bought and that we will stand together until all workers are inhoused!

Why we're doing this

  • Starting pay in CLS is little more than $ 8.00/ hour. Most still earn about $10.00 in spite of having diligently worked for the University for many years.
  • They have ABSOLUTELY NO health insurance.
  • They have NO Pension Plans for retirement. This means NEVER being able to retire, especially on these meager wages.

How you can help

Let the UCI administration know you're concerned by contacting these folks (please be polite):

Meeting times:

Mondays, 9 pm, SSL 145.

Contact us:

worker_student_alliance (AT)


  • CONTRACTING OUT AT UCI: A Report on the Hidden Costs of Outsourcing and Its Destructive Impacts on Workers, Students, and the Surrounding Community.