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48,000 academic workers went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay, child care, and health benefits. Photo: Mario Tama

Classes shifted to Zoom across University of California due to workers’ strike

48,000 academic worker across 10 campus system of UC went on strike Monday, causing the largest work stoppage in higher education history.

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After 48,000 academic workers across 10 campus system of the University of California went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay, childcare support and health benefits for dependents— the strike has caused the largest work stoppage in higher education history— many classes have shifted to Zoom, a month before finals are set to start, and research and lab work has been stalled for the time being. Also, disrupting grading and office hours.

The strike was organized by United Auto Workers, which is representing the workers in their negotiations efforts with University of California system. 

University of California is offering postdoctoral scholars an 8% pay increase in the first year, 5% the second year and 3% in subsequent years. Also, researchers will get a 4% increase the first year and 3% in subsequent years. Teaching assistants and associate instructors a 7% increase and teaching fellows a 8.33% increase as reported by ABC News

“We’ve seen a pattern over the years as public universities have become more and privatized, the value that scholars and researchers provide have been increasingly undervalued,” said Rafael Jaime, UC Student-Workers Union UAW 2865 in a Twitter statement

UAW reports that “UC academic workers pay as much as 59% of their monthly income back to the University for on-campus housing,” and UC fails to acknowledge the cost of living is too high, with 40% of graduate workers saying they spend more than half their income on rent.

 

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