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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

UC Workers Reach Tentative Deals As Strike Enters Third Week

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A weeks-long strike by UC academic workers may be coming to an end after two bargaining units reached a tentative deal with the university system that included pay increases and other benefits.

The lockout, the largest higher education strike in the country’s history, has caused significant disruption to university operations, with a growing number of courses being canceled in solidarity with the strikers.

As campuses approach the end of the semester, there is growing concern about the impact of the strike, which involves a slew of final papers, projects and exams.

Two bargaining units representing academic researchers and postdocs have reached a tentative five-year agreement that includes benefits such as increased pay, eight weeks of 100 per cent paid parental and family leave and anti-bullying protections. A total of four UC bargaining units participated in the strike, backed by the UAW.

Neal Sweeney, president of UAW Local 5810, said: “These agreements show that we are ready to reach an agreement when UC comes to us with a serious proposal. The beginning of internal treatment of academic workers. “

The two units include about 12,000 workers at UC, and about 37,000 workers are still working toward a deal.

Temporary agreements must be approved by union members before they can be formally ratified. Until the contract is approved, workers will continue to strike in solidarity with colleagues who are still negotiating.

The bargaining unit representing student researchers and academic student staff is still finalizing agreements with universities, but union representatives said they expected “substantial proposals” soon.

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High-profile academic workers describe living hand to mouth because of the Bay Area’s low wages and high cost of living.

The strike, which began on Nov. 14, involves nearly 50,000 academic workers across 10 campuses and at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

This action is invoked in response to some complaints The California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) accused UC of unfair practices such as failing to responding to information requeststry to Circumvention of established bargaining procedures and tear up union posters On the eve of the strike vote.

On Monday, the union organized a march to the chancellor’s office at UC Oakland that included thousands of academic workers.

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