Workers Affiliated With the University of California Graduate Division Are on Strike

On November 14, over 48,000 graduate students at the University of California went on strike, which kicked off what could be the biggest walkout in the history of higher education in the country. This strike affected various academic disciplines, including teaching assistants, postdocs, and student researchers.

After more than a year of negotiations, the union decided to strike due to the university's failure to bargain in good faith. Their demands included better working conditions and higher childcare allowances.

In Higher Education, it has been reported that non-tenured professors are refusing to join the strike and will not take on the work of striking workers. Also, 53,000 UPS workers have authorized their union to stop delivering to the university's campuses.

According to Desmond Fonseca, a graduate student at the University of California, their main demand is for living wages that are equivalent to the cost of living. He noted that the university should be regarded as a prestigious institution.

According to Bernard Remollino, a teaching assistant and researcher, he had to live out of his car during the academic year 2018 to 2019. He noted that the rent in LA was very high in both private market apartments and graduate student housing. He said that there had to be more to his job than just scrimping and saving.

The strike lasted until Tuesday, and classes were disrupted just weeks before finals. In response to the strike, the university system said that it was committed to reaching an agreement as soon as possible. It also requested a third-party mediator to help facilitate the negotiations. The union, on the other hand, noted that round-the-clock bargaining should be prioritized.

The strike, which the organizers claim is the largest of its kind in the country, occurred during a period of labor history that was marked by widespread layoffs in the tech and media industries. Also, on the other side of the country, part-time faculty members at the New School will go on strike starting Wednesday. According to their union, these faculty members teach 87% of the school's classes.

The demands of the graduate workers include a minimum yearly salary of about $54,000 for all employees and a 14% raise for academic researchers. They also want to see the implementation of experience-based pay increases and annual cost of living adjustments. According to the Fair UC NOW website, the lack of compensation that is equivalent to the cost-of-living is driving scholars away from academia.

The majority of the teaching and research that the University of California provides is done by graduate workers. However, they are not receiving a fair share of the state funding that their labor brings in.

According to Rafael Jaime, the president of UAW 2865, the striking graduate workers are fighting for the right to live in a more affordable environment. He noted that many of them have to live with debt and rent burdens while the high-paid administrators live in luxury homes.

The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Cable.

Written by Staff Reports

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