About 200 University of California students and faculty have gathered at UC San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus this morning to protest proposed student fee hikes and changes to employee retirement plans.
The protest is taking place outside a UC Board of Regents meeting, where the board will consider an 8 percent fee hike for students. Regents will also discuss proposed changes to retirement benefits for employees.
“They’re putting workers into abject poverty,” said Paul Haller, a building manager at UC Berkeley. “I’ve worked here for 27 years, and back then I didn’t think about retirement, but now it’s a lot more important.”
Picket lines formed in various parts of the campus, with students and faculty chanting, “UC Me? UC worker poverty. UC Me? UC student poverty.”
A video of the protest appears to show protesters being pepper-sprayed by police at one point.
At least five protesters had been arrested as of 9 a.m.
UC President Mark Yudof has proposed raising fees by 8 percent for the 2011-12 academic year, which means undergraduate fees would increase to $11,124 per year.
He has also proposed that the university provide grants for undergraduates with household incomes of less than $120,000 to cover the fee increase for one year.