BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON/BCN) – Nearly 48,000 University of California workers including researchers, postdoctoral scholars, teaching assistants and graders are going on strike starting Monday.

It is the largest-ever strike by academic workers in the United States.

Pickets are starting at 8 a.m. Nearly 98% of the 36,558 members voted to approve the strike authorization.

The strike is due to what the United Auto Workers (which represents the workers) call “extremely low compensation.”

“Extremely low compensation – many workers make less than $24,000 a year – is leaving workers severely rent-burdened and struggling to remain in academia. UC’s failure to support a diverse workforce undermines the quality of research and education across the system,” Rafael Jaime, president of UAW 2865, said earlier this month.

For its part, representatives of the UC system stated they are operating in good faith.

Ryan King, a spokesperson for the University of California Office of the President, said earlier this month, “Our primary goal in these negotiations is achieving multiyear agreements that recognize these employees’ important and highly valued contributions to the University’s teaching and research mission with fair pay, quality health and family-friendly benefits, and a supportive and respectful work environment.”