Sen. Yee attends protest at UCSF
September 24, 2009 3:42 PM
California State Sen. Leland Yee showed his support for higher education Thursday afternoon by participating in a protest at the University of California San Francisco.
Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) addressed employees and students in front of the medical center, assuring them that he will continue to fight for their cause. The strike was put on by the University Professionals and Technical Employees union.
"The State legislature no longer has confidence in the UC," Yee said during his speech. "Hard-working individuals like UC workers should be treated fairly."
Yee told the [X]press that he will keep defending the students and employees of the California State University and UC systems, and will support them during these difficult times.
"I hope the students persevere," Yee said. "We are on your side, and we will continue to fight against the decisions of the board and the effects of the budget cuts."
Yee has introduced new legislation intended to bring greater transparency and accountability to the UC system and control executive salaries.
"We will not allow executives to take these double-digit pay raises anymore," Yee said.
Employees and students in attendance were thrilled to have such an advocate as Yee participate in the event, and expressed gratitude for all he has worked to accomplish so far on behalf of California's universities.
"It's great that he came out to show his support," said 17-year laboratory technician at UCSF Allen Villanueva. "It gives us encouragement, and we need that,"
Principal surgical technologist Jeff Myers said he felt proud to see Yee speak at the protest. Myers has been working in UCSF's operating room for 11 years and didn't attend work in order to participate in the strike, leading picketers in chants through a bullhorn.
"Senator Yee has helped us through our fight," Myers said. "He's supported us through his legislation, so for him to be out here showing his support really means a lot."
Yee's words of encouragement for the strikers were met with frequent cheers, as he praised their efforts and expressed hope for the future.
"One day, the UC will be that shining star not because of their intelligence, but because they treat their workers well," Yee said.
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