UC Democratic Chapters Statement in Support of Academic Student Employees Strike

Special to the Vanguard

College Democrat chapters from across the University of California system stand in solidarity with Postdocs, Academic Student Employees, and Student-Researchers as they negotiate with the University for stronger, more secure contracts. The UAW 2865, UAW 5810, and SRU-UAW, representing 48,000 academic workers, have been stuck in negotiation with the UC system for well over a year. We condemn the University’s bad-faith negotiations with their student employees, and stand with the unions’ decision to strike for better wages, working conditions, parental support, and more.

These valued members of the University of California take on a great deal of sacrifice to make our world-class public universities function daily. And yet, these workers face job insecurity, lack of support for those who are parents, and poor working conditions, all of which rob them of the ability to lead stable, dignified lives. How can the University expect a world class service from their workers without providing the resources which they deserve and need? This comes in spite of a statewide housing crisis that is acutely impacting cities and regions with a UC campus, increased costs of living, diminished social safety nets, labor violations, and more. It is unacceptable that these individuals face such conditions while chancellors and executive staff see yearly pay raises, competitive benefits, and more. As students and community members of the University of California, we demand that workers of the UC system receive the proper benefits that they rightfully deserve.

As Undergraduate students, we understand the value these individuals bring to our education. T A’s, tutors, and lab assistants are some of the key facilitators of our education; they are the ones answering our questions, leading our discussions, and grading our assignments. It’s not enough to just merely recognize the value of their labor on our education; we must actively show solidarity and stand with them in their fight. Our universities only listen when we are united. Thus, it is our responsibility as undergraduate students to show support for the individuals who make our quality education possible.

As the leaders of the College Democratic Chapters at the University of California, we understand the role we must play in supporting organized labor on our campuses. We reaffirm our pledge to do all we can to support and show solidarity for student employees, student researchers, and postdocs as they fight for the working conditions they are owed. We ask that our fellow students not attend discussion sections, not report TA’s if the University asks about their attendance, and instead join us and the UAW 2865, UAW 5810, and SRU-UAW on the picket lines as we send this united message:

Fair UC Now!

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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