In this update:

Academic Student Employees, Academic Researchers, Postdocs and Student Researchers are four days into our unfair labor practice strike and going strong in the face of UC’s obstruction. Read on for the latest on bargaining and other updates.

Bargaining Update
Academic Student Employees, Student Researchers, and Academic Researchers all went to the bargaining tables today.

For Academic Student Employees, after months of demanding a real solution to the misclassification of hundreds of workers, the University agreed to a Classifications article that rectifies all misclassifications. Additionally, the University agreed to change the Recognition article to allow all job titles to be used on every campus. Finally, after many months of the University attempting to roll back the hard-fought workload protections that ASEs have won over two decades, the University finally agreed to maintain ASEs’ current strong rights to file and win grievances for overwork.

For Student Researchers, the University made proposals regarding Personal Time Off and Work Incurred Injury and Illness. For each, the University made steps towards us: they agreed to equal PTO for all Student Researchers; on Work Incurred Injury and Illness, they agreed to meet with the union to ensure that workers can receive full pay when they are out of work due to injury. The GSR bargaining team also responded to the University’s wages proposal with important components: 1) Maintained 54K base pay for GSRs; 2) Experience Based Steps with 7.5% increases between steps; 3) Wage increases on all earnings/compensation; and 4) annual wage increases that match increases in the rental market.

Finally, for Academic Researchers, the University proposed a series of economic articles last night. They guaranteed access to a 15% discount for the purchase of e-bikes and increased their initial compensation proposal to 4.5% in the first year followed by 3% in the following years. The Bargaining Team countered with a package of proposals to communicate Academic Researchers’ priorities regarding Compensation, and Leaves, and Job Security.

Media Round-up
Today the LA Times ran an amazing editorial by UC Santa Cruz Literary Theory professor, Joseph Holzworth. In the piece, Professor Holzworth succinctly nails the crux of UC’s hypocrisy, “It’s not so much a question of the system needing more money as it is a matter of distributing that money fairly.” We urge you to read and share the full piece widely!

In a second LA Times article published this evening, UCLA workers shared stories of the difficulties they face as a result of low wages, and rebuked UC’s claim that their current proposal is ‘fair’. Grad Worker Menelik Tafari told reporters “If you’re undocumented, if you’re poor and an international student, if you don’t come from generational wealth, the odds of you being able to get a graduate degree is slim to none…That really makes it so that we have fewer of the best and brightest here, doing the quality research that can transform our society to something that we all can be proud of.”

And this morning, UAW 5810 President Neal Sweeney was supposed to appear alongside the head of UC Labor Relations, Letitia Silas, for an hour long discussion on Forum on Bay Area Public Radio station KQED. But Silas demanded that she appear separately. And then during her segment had little to offer beyond platitudes and insistence that UC respects and values Academic Workers, but simply can’t afford to pay us enough to live. Listen to the full program here.

See you on the picket line!

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