Boulder, CO — Nearly 48,000 University of California academic workers are currently on their fourth day of strike — uniting to demand for better pay and benefits. This includes higher pay, job security, support for international scholars, accessibility for workers with disabilities and public transit and childcare subsidies.
This is said to be one of the largest strikes in history of U.S. higher education, as thousands of workers across the entire 10-campus system gather to demand a more equitable workplace.
Many of those participating in the strike are teaching assistants, researchers, postdoctoral scholars, tutors, readers and graders. And as the school term inches closer to final exams, the strikers threaten to disrupt class instruction across the entire UC school system with many of the graduate teaching instructors at picketing lines. Class cancellations have already started.
Demonstrators feel like they are out of options. There is no other choice, but to walk out. In a survey conducted by the United Auto Workers, 92% of graduate student workers and 61% of postdoctoral scholars feel rent-burdened. And 40% of graduate student workers reportedly have spent more than half their income on rent.
As of now, strikers plan to continue until their demands are met. The UC administration is currently on their seventh day of contract negotiations with the UAW, who represent the UC academic workers.