Thank you everyone who took a moment to sign this letter. UC and the student-worker TA union have now reached an agreement. Details of the agreement have not yet been posted by UC or the student’s union, but the LA Times has some press coverage. We are no longer collecting signatures.
UC Faculty Call on UC Administration To Negotiate in Good Faith with Student-Worker TA Union
Dear President Napolitano,
We, faculty throughout the University of California system, are finding it increasingly difficult to do our jobs. For years, we have done our best to deal with budget cuts, hiring freezes, furloughs, staff reductions, increasing class sizes, and other measures that have challenged our ability to carry out the core mission of the University of California. Most recently, our jobs teaching the students of California have become even more difficult due to labor-management strife.
Already this spring, two called strikes were averted only by last minute agreements. Most recently, the union of our Student-Workers (TAs, Graders, and Readers) held a 2-day strike in response to several unfair labor practices. At UC Santa Cruz, the legal picket on both strike days was met with police force and intimidation, making it even more difficult for students and teachers alike to meet their responsibilities. Instead of searching for ways to de-escalate and solve our labor disputes, the UC administration has turned to increased force. And we hear talk of another strike.
In order to carry out the research mission of the university and to maintain excellence in graduate and undergraduate education, the faculty of UC need to work in an atmosphere where all employees are part of a fair and humane working environment.
Although encouraged by recent settlements with some union-represented employees, we are dismayed by the failure of University leadership to come to an agreement with the Student-Workers union. Increasing class sizes and inadequate graduate student support are issues that concern us all. Last fall, many UC department chairs wrote to their deans of graduate study, concerned that relatively low pay for graduate student workers was threatening the quality of their graduate programs. As well, good labor relations are integral to our ability to carry out the core mission of the University of California.
We urge you to negotiate in good faith with the Student-Workers union and to settle with a contract that gives our graduate student TAs, Graders, and Readers the respect, wages, and work climate they need and ought to have.
U.C. Santa Cruz Faculty Association
A collective bargaining chapter of the Council of UC Faculty Associations