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48,000 UC alumni student workers go on strike

Approximately 48,000 academic workers, unionized throughout the university. of 10 California campuses – who perform majority of training and research at the state premier higher education system – walked off work Monday morning for best pay and benefits.

Teaching assistants, doctoral students, graduate students participate in a system-wide strike student researchers, educators and researchers, and employees at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. already caused repeated disruption of scheduled classes, just a few weeks before final Exams.

Union leaders say the strike, which began on Monday, will be the largest in any academic institution. in history. employees of the University of California at Los Angeles joined picket line at 8 am, demonstration with signs, t-shirts and chants on the set locations throughout campus, as are groups at UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Merced.

UC Irvine strikers demonstrate on campus at 8:30, while strikes on some other campuses were set for 9am including UC Davis and UC San Francisco. 48,000 workers, represented by four UAW negotiation units, demanded their wages. of $54,000 pay raise that more how double their average current to pay of about $24,000 a year.

UC proposes salary increase of 7% in in first year and 3% in each successive year, but the workers said it wasn’t enough.

“We are overworked, we are underpaid and we are fed up”said Jamie Mondello, a 27-year-old psychology graduate student UCLA employee and member of UAW Local 2865 and Student Research Fellowship. “Our proposals bring everyone to the living wage. We are, on the whole, just ask to be treated with dignity. We really support the work of UC.”

Mondello said she makes about $37,000 a year. year as a friend and planning add teaching assistant next quarter to help supplement her income. She was out on picket at UCLA on Monday morning together with hundreds of other academics, many of whom held signs reading “UAW on strike. unfair labor practice”.

“Forty-eight thousand people,” they chanted. “We can fight all day long.”

Lavanya Knott, 30, third-year graduate student in Faculty of Geography and student researcher, said she was earning $24,000 per year from her work and about $2,000 in year from her second work as on- Campus Assessor for teaching assistants who don’t speak english like them first language.

“Almost impossible live in Los Angeles or most cities in California, she said. “A lot of of us have second or a third job.

Knott described her income as a “poverty-level salary” and said that 92% of graduate students are burdened with rent, that is, they spend 30% or more of their income on rent. She lives in a one-room apartment provided by UC Housing with her partner pays $1,500 a month combined. As long as she doesn’t have a baby, she knows parents really struggling because the childcare subsidy that UC provides is not enough for people send your children to kindergarten on Campuses of the University of California.

“We are always thinking about how small money we have and how we are limited financially and i think it will be give us a little peace of mind and freedom of concentration on our work and have some dignity,” Knott said. “We just want be delivered out of poverty.”

Rafael Jaime, President of UAW Local 2865, which corresponds to 19,000 of 48,000 workers, there were out Early Monday at UC San Diego with guy union members on hit and he said the energy was high.

“We’re going to be out here for as long as it takes,” Jaime said. He said union continues to negotiate “round the clock” and, although some progress was made on stronger protection against bullying and abuse in the workplace, he said, both sides remain “still far apart on a lot of of problems that will make UC more fair university.

In addition to wage increases, workers are seeking subsidies for childcare, expanded medical benefits. for dependents, public transit passes lower tuition fees for international scientists and better accessibility for workers with disability.

It wasn’t right away clear how many classes, labs, or planned academic activities were interrupted on Monday, but UCLA students reported that some classes have been cancelled.

Ebony Morris, 21, fourth-year undergraduate art student- said in the discussion group meeting for one of her classes were canceled before the end of the strike over.

“TAs make up a class,” she said. “This is the smaller way to get everything you need to get in class.”

Morris said the score of assignments and tests will also most likely affected by the strike.

“I think UCLA should to pay people who work here,” she said. “If they need strike, they need beat. I feel like it is the human right to be able to pay for Your life.”

Breanna Reyes, 20, and Vanessa Salgado, 20, both third.year undergraduate students and Spanish language specialists.

Reyes said one of her lessons were canceled indefinitely and another was rescheduled online while the strike over. Salgado said to the couple of her classes and discussion groups were cancelled.

“Obviously there are glitches in grades and grades, but I think the point is to cause violations and inform staff of in problems who are going on, so I don’t mind,” said Salgado.

Reyes said a few of students thought about joining hit in solidarity.

“AT big in lectures, we don’t get that individual attention and we can’t ask so many questions,” Reyes said. “In our discussion groups we can express ourselves more ask questions about homework, get feedback on this improves our overall score, so I think out on what will hinder experience from our first quarter”.

Mondello, a UCLA psychology graduate. student said she appreciates it very much of students understand that the strike is not an attempt to punish them and teachers, but a necessity for academic workers.

“We are really here because we are want make the academy better,” Mondello said. “Not one wants to strike and we were forced to be in this position just get fair working conditions and a fair contract.”

She said it was especially important because union leaders blamed the university on repeatedly of attraction in illegal bargaining tactics, such as table circumvention and intimidation tactics, and filed 23 complaints of dishonest labor practice claims with State Labor Relations Board. In three cases, board filed complaints.

BUT group of Legislators from 33 states sent a letter in support of graduate student workers urge UC President Michael Drake to bargain in good Vera.

“UC is one of vertex public university systems and research institutions in in world, in No small part because of this is ability to attract the most talented scientists from a wide range of of backgrounds,” the letter says. “But the UK system can not live up to my mission as well as reputation if his own employees don’t feel respected.”

Last November the university system narrowly escaped a strike planned by some 6,500 lecturers after reaching last- minute agreement that improved their job security and boosts included.

Times staff member Teresa Watanabe contributed to this report.

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Tyler Hromadka
Tyler Hromadka
Tyler is working as the Author at World Weekly News. He has a love for writing and have been writing for a few years now as a free-lancer.

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