The Academic Worker Bargaining Teams are meeting with UC around the clock, but the University’s ongoing unlawful behavior continues to thwart progress towards reaching fair resolutions. With less that forty-eight hours till our unfair labor practices strike is set to begin, we’ve still yet to see the UC Administration show the urgency necessary to prevent the walkout of 48,000 Academic Student Employees, Academic Researchers, Postdocs and Student Researchers.

In this (long but important) email:

Media Roundup
As Monday gets closer, our campaign has attracted a lot of attention! You can read coverage of our strike in:

In addition to this news coverage, UC Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Brown wrote an op-ed response to the LA Times editorial in which he doubled down on UC’s insistence that their inadequate offer is fair. He wrote that the LA Times ‘regrettably fails to provide a full picture of the University of California system’s fair proposal to academic employees’ and then proceeded to describe ‘fair’ salary scales for ASEs that begin at $24,874 per year and max out at $30,893 per year. It is abundantly clear that the UC administration does not understand the magnitude of the issues we face.

He also mentioned the UC’s plan to build new housing at below-market rents. Our union’s research found that UC’s ‘below-market’ rents leave grad workers rent-burdened at every campus. For Postdocs & Academic Researchers, UC housing is available only to a paltry 8% of workers. Read more of our housing research at

Bargaining Updates
Though we made progress in yesterday’s sessions, the University’s intransigence and obstructive behavior continue to imperil our chances of reaching resolution. Please read on for a *brief* summary of what happened in yesterday’s bargaining sessions (you can click here for more detailed info on the latest proposals for each unit).

Also: hear directly from your bargaining team members in new bargaining update videos on our website!

Upcoming Bargaining Dates 
The bargaining teams are meeting all weekend and are on call for formal bargaining sessions to be scheduled. Otherwise, the next sessions are scheduled for:

  • Academic Researchers – Friday, 11/18 – RSVP here
  • Academic Student Employees Tuesday, 11/15  – RSVP here
  • Postdocs – Wednesday, 11/16 – RSVP here
  • Student Researchers Thursday, 11/17  – RSVP here

Academic Researchers
On Friday, the Academic Researcher bargaining team met and prepared a new set of proposals that are ready to pass, but UC told us they were not available to meet. We remain ready and willing to meet with UC whenever necessary to move forward toward agreement.

Academic Student Employees
On Friday, ASEs were ready to discuss workload and outstanding issues related to undergraduate workers in Berkeley EECS and San Diego Biology. The university focused the day on preparations for Postdoc and SR bargaining, so we hope to continue those discussions today.

The University passed proposals on Childcare and Appointments at Postdoc bargaining today with slight changes, but also re-passed a Leaves proposal with unequal benefits for first-year Postdocs. Postdocs made a Benefits “Supposal”: in order to agree to a new rate structure in 2024, UC would have to improve Postdoc benefits by adding infertility coverage, acupuncture and improved vision benefits. We think we’re close to reaching agreement on Benefits and we’re waiting on UC’s response.

Student Researchers
At a late-night session last night, the Student Researchers United Bargaining team reached three key tentative agreements with the University: Appointment Security, a withdrawal of the University’s layoffs proposal, and an agreement on Defined Contribution Plans. These agreements mark major progress in negotiations and are a testament to the power we’re building.

Lots of Political and Community Solidarity
On Thursday, thirty-three California State Senate and Assembly members sent a letter to UC President Drake urging the University to stop its unlawful behavior and bargain with UC Academic Workers in good faith. With this letter a total of thirty-six elected representatives have sent letters to UC Admin since Academic Workers announced our unfair labor practices strike. This is in addition to the 18 letters legislators have already sent to UC advocating for our proposals.

Academic Workers have also received wide-ranging support within the UC academic community and beyond. You can check out some of the many statements of solidarity here!

In addition, our Unfair Labor Practice strike has been sanctioned by the Northern and Southern California Teamsters Joint Councils 7 and 42. This means that delivery drivers represented by the Teamsters (like UPS) can honor our picket line and stop deliveries to UC for the duration of the strike.

Attestation Forms
The University may ask Academic Workers to “attest” as to whether they worked, or not, during a strike. They will likely send forms to assess whether or not to deduct pay for work not performed during a strike. It is unlawful to ask workers to fill out strike attestation forms before a strike or prospectively.

If these attestation forms are sent after striking begins, workers should not be afraid to fill them out truthfully and accurately, but only after workers have withheld their labor. There is power in numbers! And academic workers have the right to engage in lawful striking.

The University has proposed voluntary, pre-impasse mediation to all four UAW bargaining units as a mechanism for addressing issues that remain on the bargaining tables. Workers at Columbia, NYU, the University of Washington, and UC have used mediation in the past. The bargaining teams are discussing the University’s mediation proposal and whether or not it will be an effective tool at the moment– stay tuned!

Sign up for Strike Pay
Click here to get more information about where and when you can sign up for strike pay at your campus. If there are no more times and locations on your campus, you can enroll in strike pay at the picket line on Monday!  If you do not live near a UC campus, or if you have access needs that prevent them from attending in-person events, you can still enroll remotely.

Please note: if you work off-site and your location is closer to a different UC campus than your home campus, you are able (and encouraged) to picket at the closer campus but you will need to fill out the remote sign-up form in order to ensure that you are counted for strike pay purposes.

UPDATE: If you have already signed up for strike pay, you should now have received an email from UAW inviting you to enroll in the system.

Picket Locations and Times 
Picket locations, times and sign-up forms for your campus can be found here. Make sure to sign up for shifts on the form for your campus! If your work is fully remote and you are not near a UC campus, or if you have access needs that prevent you from attending in-person events, please indicate this on the form.

In solidarity,

UAW 5810 Academic Researcher Bargaining Team
UAW 2865 Academic Student Employee Bargaining Team
UAW 5810 Postdoc Bargaining Team
SRU-UAW Student Researcher Bargaining Team