Graduate student workers at The University of California San Diego are demanding housing justice. Workers earn poverty wages and the vast majority struggle to afford rent. Many have no option besides university-funded housing. Now, the university is spiking rents by 85 percent.
UC President Mike Davis makes $890,000 a year. His Chancellors receive $500,000+. They recently received $100,000+ raises. Meanwhile, the university pays the graduate student workers just $2000-$3000 per month. With little income, student workers now face a university-created housing crisis.
90 percent of UCSD grad student workers consider themselves “rent-burdened.” This means 30 percent or more of their income goes toward their rent. Some workers reported that 40 percent of their income goes toward rent.
“In order to afford working here and teaching the people that attend this university, I had to live in an illegal shed in someone’s backyard,” says one graduate student worker.
UCSD students organized with United Auto Workers to fight poverty wages and supreme rent spikes.
“The university shouldn’t exploit the love for research and not paying us a living wage just because we love to do it,” says student researcher Raymundo Miranda.
The United Auto Workers union now represents nearly 50,000 academic workers nationwide.