Young adults marching with signs that say UAW on strike unfair labor practice

University of California Reaches Tentative Agreement With Striking Academic Workers

Young adults marching with signs that say UAW on strike unfair labor practice

Striking student-workers and supporters marched in protest on the UC Berkeley campus in November. (Jonathan Hale / The CC Pulse file)

By Ugur Dursun
Bay City News

The University of California announced a tentative agreement with its student workers Friday evening, signaling the end of the largest-ever higher education strike in the nation’s history.

After 32 days of the academic workers’ strike, which affected all 10 campuses of the UC system around California, the bargaining teams and the university reached an agreement that would yield up to 66% increases in wages over the next two and a half years.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg stepped in to mediate between the two parties.

The agreement needs to be ratified by the workers’ union Student Researchers United-UAW before the strike officially ends.

Members will be able to vote Monday through Friday this week.

“The union fought hard to ensure that the university’s graduate students make a living wage at every campus community. They and the University achieved a new national standard for members,” said Steinberg in a news release Friday.

In addition to wage increases, the tentative agreements also include expanded benefits for parent workers, greater rights for international workers, protections against bullying and harassment, improvements to accessibility, workplace protections, and sustainable transit benefits, according to the news release.

“This is a positive step forward for the University and for our students, and I am grateful for the progress we have made together,” said UC president Michael V. Drake.

In November, roughly 48,000 academic workers, including more than 10,000 in the Berkeley, San Francisco and Santa Cruz campuses, went on strike, alleging unfair labor practices by the university. The university reached a similar agreement with postdoctoral employees and academic researchers, who made up a quarter of that sum, at the end of November.

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