University of California Strike Enters 3rd Week — Some Tentative Agreements Reached

by on November 30, 2022 · 0 comments

in California, Education, Labor, San Diego

By Amy Graff / SFGATE / Nov. 29, 2022

After a grueling 15-day labor walkout by 48,000 academic workers at the University of California, two of the four groups striking announced Tuesday that they reached a tentative agreement that includes wage increases, officials said.

The academic researchers and postdoctoral scholars agreed on a new five-year contract with the state university system, per a news release from United Auto Workers Local 5810, the union representing the workers. But the two groups will continue to walk picket lines in solidarity with the other the two groups that have yet to strike a deal: academic student employees and student researchers.

Neal Sweeney, president of UAW Local 5810, said in a statement that the new agreement addresses the soaring cost of living affecting academic workers.

“These agreements represent a new, best-in-class model that will improve quality of life — and the quality of research — for scientists across the US,” Sweeney said “It is now time for UC to make serious proposals to academic student employees and student researchers and to reach fair agreements that recognize the contributions these workers make.”

Letitia Silas, executive director of the UC’s labor relations, said academic researchers and postdoctoral scholars are “vital” to research activities. “We are very pleased to have reached agreements that honor their many important contributions,” Silas said in a statement. “These agreements also uphold our tradition of supporting these employees with compensation and benefits packages that are among the best in the country.”

Union members will participate in a ratification vote in coming days where members of a union vote on whether or not to accept the tentative terms of the agreement. If ratified, the contract would remain in effect through Sept. 30, 2027, the University of California said.

Under the new contract, most postdocs would receive 20 to 23% salary bumps up to $12,000 by October 2023, while a typical academic researcher could see a 29% increase in pay through the duration of the contract. The contract also includes increases in paid parental and family leave, childcare subsidies, protections for workers with disabilities and many other benefits. (See more contract details posted by UAW Local 5810 on Twitter.)

The union launched the strike, the largest ever of higher-education academic workers, on Nov. 14, across the 10 UC campuses, calling on the University of California to increase wages and benefits so workers can afford the cost of living. The strike disrupted classroom and laboratory instruction across the system.


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