SAN DIEGO — Up to 48,000 employees in the statewide University of California system are expected to go on strike beginning Monday morning.
The union represents Academic Student Employees, Academic Researchers, Postdocs and Student Researchers in the UC system.
The union said it has been bargaining with the UC system since Spring of 2021 and its core demands include:
-More compensation with a minimum yearly salary of $54,000 for grad workers, $70,000 a year minimum salary for Postdocs and 14 % salary increase for academic researchers, along with annual cost of living adjustments and experience-based increases.
-Climate and transit with free public transit, subsidies for purchasing and maintaining bikes and e-bikes.
-Support for working parents with childcare reimbursements and expanded paid family leave.
-International Scholar rights.
More information about the union’s demands can be found here.
Ganesh Raghavendran, a Chemical Engineering third-year graduate student at UCSD, said he is participating in the strike Monday. He said he receives a stipend of $2500 a month for his research and work at UCSD.
“It takes a toll on us, so it’s been really difficult with the stipend we are getting,” Raghavendran said. “At the end of the day, we are living paycheck-to-paycheck and its been really difficult to have any savings and not having any emergency fund.”
He said he has been renting a shared bedroom with another PhD student to be able to afford living and working in San Diego on the graduate stipend.
“I really hope this changes, I have two more years left on this campus,” Raghavendran said. “Not really for me, but for future students — for the benefit of future students. I really hope this works out and we see a real difference.”
Students FOX 5 talked with on Sunday said there is concern among students on campus on how this could affect midterms.
“Most of my professors have been announcing, ‘don’t worry nothing is going to change,’” third year UCSD student Nikki Rejai said. “But there’s definitely concern among students.”
“Many people know TA’s do a lot of the teaching, professors give the lectures, but the TA’s are working one-on-one with the students and I think like that is going to take a significant toll on the students,” Krish Narotam, a freshman at UCSD, said.
“As much as we want change for the TA’s, we also want help in our classes because its midterm week this week,” Rejai said.
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