UC student worker’s union to strike

Archive/HIGHLANDER
Archive/HIGHLANDER

The United Auto Worker’s union (UAW 2865) is gearing up for a strike on June 7, which will include teaching assistants, tutors and readers throughout the UC. This strike is in response to the union’s claim that management enacted unfair labor practices on its employees.

“When management abuses our rights and expects us to work, they make it clear that they take our labor for granted. Our work is important, our lives are important, and our rights are important,” said the UAW 2865 Joint Council in a press release. Specifically, union activists are looking to raise wages for UC student workers, which they say is $2,697 per year lower than other higher-level universities. They are also looking to increase rights for undocumented student workers and bolster support for student workers who have families.

On May 20, the union met with the UC in an informal hearing held by the California Public Employee Relations Board aimed at resolving the disputed unfair labor practice charges. The charges have yet to be resolved, but discussions are underway. The union is hopeful that negotiations will prevent the need for a strike but is still preparing for one.

In response to the upcoming strike, UC Media Specialist Brooke Converse said that it will impact undergraduate education by taking place during finals week.

“Students and faculty want to complete the school year on the best possible note, and it is unfair to thrust them into the middle of these contract negotiations,” Converse said. “However, UC is taking steps to minimize disruption to instructional activities as much as possible, by working closely with faculty and (student-workers) who choose not to strike.”

UAW members also met with UC President Janet Napolitano on Tuesday, May 27, to discuss their demands.

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