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UC System Reaches Tentative Deal With Academic Researchers, While Bargaining Continues For Other Unions On Strike

Many students are gathered outside with signs that say "On Strike! Unfair Labor Practice!"
About 48,000 students are striking for a living wage and in protest of what they say are unfair labor practices by the University of California.
(Adolfo Guzman-Lopez
/
LAist)
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Topline:

The union that represents the University of California's postdoctoral students and academic researchers has taken the University of California's offer of salary increases, child subsidies, and transit passes to resolve one part of a massive strike that began on November 14. The agreement still needs to be voted on, and two other unions continue to bargain.

Who's striking, and why: The unions have argued that workers’ salaries and benefits were not enough to live on in expensive California communities. The systemwide strike has affected UC classes and important research at all 10 campuses.

There are three unions on strike, representing four groups:

  • UAW 2865 represents student workers (teaching assistants, readers, and tutors)
  • UAW 5810 represents both postdocs and academic researchers
  • SRU-UAW represents student researchers
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The Nov. 29 deal is for UAW 5810.

What did this latest deal offer? Here is a partial list of what's included, according to a union statement:

  • Raises upward of 20%
  • 8 weeks of parental and family leave, paid at 100% (up from 4 weeks)
  • For postdocs, childcare subsidies that will start at $2,500 annually and increase each year
  • Protections against abusive conduct and bullying that are "fully grievable and arbitable"
  • Commitment to implement free transit passes within 3 years, and a commitment to bargain if free passes have not been implemented in that timeframe
  • E-bike discounts of at least 15%

What's next: The tentative agreement must be approved by union members. The largest portion of those on strike, student workers and student researchers, are still negotiating. Even if UAW 5810 members do ratify their tentative deal, that union has vowed to remain on strike until the other unions have reached agreements with the university.