Berkeley, CA – Today was historic – tens of thousands of academic workers across all ten UC campuses and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shut down their classrooms and research labs this morning, walking off the job and onto the picket line. This is the largest strike in the U.S. since 2019, the largest strike at any academic institution in history, and the first time ever that Postdoctoral Scholars and Academic Researchers have gone on strike.

Strikers were boosted by a strong showing of solidarity – professors canceled classes, truck drivers refused to cross the picket lines to deliver packages, and the California Labor Federation’s 2.1 million members sent a unified message in support of the strike. Calls of support came from every corner – from the Speaker of the California Assembly to undergraduates to nurses, UC alumnae, and Californians everywhere.

Bargaining Update

“The biggest sticking point, both today and in previous sessions, centers on compensation,” said Rafael Jaime, President of UAW Local 2865. “The University’s proposals do not adequately address the affordable housing crisis confronting our members. UC also wants to limit and control our earnings by calling some of it “student support,” which would block a portion of our pay from being covered by our union contract. If the University had its way, they could reduce our pay unilaterally or take it away, undermining our rights at the bargaining table. We believe we must collectively bargain over all of our compensation, ensure transparency, and guarantee that people are being treated fairly.”

“UAW bargaining team members met with UC officials today for two hours, because the University was only available for two hours. Despite their limited availability we reached three Tentative Agreements, showing progress among the parties. At this point, the priority should be round the clock bargaining in good faith as opposed to switching to a mediation process. We remain willing and able to meet with the University on an ongoing basis to reach a resolution. 

“We are hopeful they will agree to include all of our compensation in our contract, as is the norm across every other industry, so we can make progress at the table and get UC moving again. UAW members at UC remain on strike, and we will be walking picket lines tomorrow.”