Berkeley, CA – Strikers will rally across the state today, with numbers exceeding turnout on Days 1, 2 and 3.

  • UC claimed that paying wages that lift workers out of the federal classification of ‘Rent Burden’ – i.e., being required to pay more than 30% of your income on rent – would be “overwhelming.” But the total amount that all four bargaining units are asking for amounts to just 4.5% of UC’s total budget. That’s a fair price to pay for world-class teaching and research. And UC, as the state’s largest landlord, has helped drive the housing crisis that impacts its workers. 

  • UC made a new proposal to SRs last night that included raises that are as low as a $132/month increase. This increase will leave entry-level SRs paying an average of 56% of their income on rent.

  • In this latest proposal, the University still 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.  By doing this, the University is trying to circumvent the collective bargaining process while avoiding addressing rent burden. 

  • If all of our earnings are not protected by the union contract, UC can reduce them unilaterally or take them away. They can, and often do, undermine the wage increases that are guaranteed in our contracts by reducing this “student support” portion of our earnings when wage increases are supposed to take effect. This is unacceptable.

  • UC’s pay falls below all their self-identified peer institutions, including Harvard, Stanford, Yale and even public schools like the University of Michigan where living costs are far less. 

  • UC claims they can’t waive the non-resident tuition for international workers, but they already waive NRST for 60% of international workers. We want to extend that to all workers to make it equitable, and to guarantee the benefit in the contract so that it’s enforceable and can’t be taken away at any time. No one should have to pay to work at the University of California

  • Despite UC’s unacceptable wage offer,  the parties made progress on issues related to Parking and Transit, Appointment Notification, and Paid Time Off. These proposals reflect Academic Workers’ priorities to receive more transit benefits and better job security.

  • You can listen to UAW 5810 President Neal Sweeney discuss the status of negotiations today at 10am on KQED’s Forum.