Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Spreading Grad Student Strike - Part 2

The graduate student/TA strike that started at UC-Santa Cruz may (or may not) spread to UCLA depending on a vote. However, the UCLA administration is unilaterally offering a benefit enhancement to grad students. As has been noted on this blog in earlier posts, there is currently a filing by the union that represents TAs - which says it is not involved in the strike - of an unfair labor practice charge at PERB. Generally, changes in benefits must be negotiated with the union, which is the exclusive bargaining agent under state labor law. Thus, a unilateral change in benefits might be seen by PERB as an unfair labor practice, even though it is an enhancement.

From the Bruin: UCLA will offer summer fellowships to graduate students using funds from its Centennial Campaign, according to a university email to students Tuesday. The fellowships will provide students with $2,500 a month for up to three months to continue their studies, research and other creative work over the summer, said Emily Carter, executive vice chancellor and provost, in the emailed statement. Graduate students at UCLA voted Thursday to go on strike this week, pending approval of graduate students in at least 10 departments. Graduate students would stop teaching and grading until their demands of higher wages and affordable housing are met.

The UCLA move also follows protests and strikes from graduate students across the University of California for a cost of living adjustment...

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