Above photo: University of California academic workers on strike walk the picket line at UCLA. Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times.
Senate faculty of the University of California announce work stoppage.
Hundreds of faculty across the system have committed to solidarity with the UAW strike against Unfair Labor Practices by the University of California, recognized by the Public Employment Relations Board. We support the four striking units’ demands for wages adequate to their cost of living, workplace and community safety, disability justice, and other fundamental issues. We recognize that, while education should be the University’s main mission, its core product is accreditation, which means degrees, which means grades.
48,000 academic workers across the UC have been on strike since November 14th, 2022. This includes UAW 5810, UAW2865, and SRU-UAW, representing Postdocs, Academic Researchers, Graduate Student Researchers, Trainees, Fellows, Graduate Student Instructors, Readers, and Tutors. Their demands include $54,000 base pay for grad workers and $70,000 pay for postdocs, childcare and better disability protections. The strike has been referred to as the largest strike in the history of higher education.
“By refusing to agree to a fair contract with its largest teaching force, the UC administration is sabotaging the university’s educational and research mission from the inside. We are in solidarity with this historic strike because the future of the University of California is at stake. The UC system will not survive if the administration continues to disrespect, insult, and vastly underpay the instructors who spend more time with undergraduate students in a week than most administrators do in a year. While UC public relations claim that the institution contributes to a more diverse and equitable society, its administrators are exploiting underrepresented Black, Brown and international academic workers to the point of housing displacement, hunger, work-related illness, and attrition.”
Dylan Rodríguez, Professor at UC Riverside (2001-present), former Chair of the UC Riverside Academic Senate (2016-2020)
“I’m joining the strike in solidarity with graduate students and other academic workers because they should be able to live where they work. Academic workers should not have to live two hours away to find “affordable” housing (places where they are only rent burdened as opposed to severely rent burdened). Academic workers should not have to juggle side hustles to make ends meet. They should not have to live in their cars or enter into other precarious living situations while they work and try to earn their degree. When the UC administration refuses to pay its workers a fair and decent wage we all suffer. Undergraduate learning conditions are structured by graduate student working conditions. In these conditions, faculty are robbed of the opportunity to meaningfully mentor and collaborate with emerging scholars, a vital element of our profession that many of us value.”
Marisol Lebrón, Associate Professor, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, UCSC
As long as this strike lasts, faculty across the system will be exercising their right to honor the picket line by refusing to conduct university labor up to and including submission of grades — labor that would not be possible without the labor of all other academic workers as well as university staff. We do this toward bettering the working and learning conditions of all students present and future. The university doesn’t work unless we all work: cost of living adjustment now!
For further information on this action, please see our full letter