BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) – Tens of thousands of academic employees in the University of California system are still on strike Monday, with the work stoppage entering its second week.
The good news is both UC administrators and the unions representing 48,000 striking UC workers continue to negotiate, as they did all last week.
But the bad news is there is still no deal, which means the lab assistants, researchers and other UC employees who make up the backbone of studies work will now head into their second week of strike.
The two sides are at odds over pay, with Neal Sweeney, the president of the United Auto Workers Local 5810, which represents about 12,000 UC postdoctoral and academic researchers, stating that “The strike will end when UC ends its unfair labor practices and starts bargaining in good faith.”
The average current pay for UC student workers is just $24,000 a year, and they are seeking a baseline of at least $54,000. Some teaching assistants say they spend close to 60% of their wages on rent alone. For its part, the UC has offered a salary scale increase of 5% in the first year and 3% afterward, but this was rejected.
Many of the workers on strike are those who would be grading final exams in the coming weeks.