Find resources below for strike assistance.
What is Strike Assistance?
As members of UAW, UC Academic Workers have access to UAW’s Strike and Defense Fund after losing pay for participating in a sanctioned strike. Strike benefits are $400 per week in strike assistance, along with medical benefits in the event that UC withholds healthcare benefits. Strike assistance is only available to members in good standing who participate in five or more picket shifts per week (20 hours per week of picket duties). Student Researchers who are negotiating a first contract will need to fill out a union authorization card, or a UAW 2865 membership card, before enrolling for strike benefits. You can do so at fairucnow.org/join.
How do I enroll in Strike Assistance?
You can enroll in strike assistance at the picket line at every campus. If you do not live near a UC campus, or if you have access needs that prevent them from attending in-person events, you can still enroll remotely.
Please note: if you work off-site and your location is closer to a different UC campus than your home campus, you are able (and encouraged) to picket at the closer campus but you will need to fill out the remote sign-up form in order to ensure that you are counted for strike assistance purposes.
I enrolled in Strike Assistance at the picket line – how do I complete the process?
You will receive an email from UAW (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject “Strike – Registration” to complete the enrollment process. You will receive a link to create your login, after which you can fill out your tax ID and bank info. If you have problems locating this email, you can search your email & spam folder for an email from email@example.com with the subject “Strike – Registration.”
I encountered an issue while completing my Strike Assistance enrollment—who do I contact?
We are working to get tens of thousands of workers enrolled in strike assistance and there have been some delays. But please rest assured that you will receive the strike assistance that you’re eligible for. If you have encountered any problems in enrolling, please fill out this form and a union member will follow up with you.
How much is Strike Assistance and how will I receive it?
Striking UAW members are eligible for $400 a week in strike assistance. For the week before Thanksgiving, strike pay is doubled, so members on strike who complete picket duties and are enrolled in strike assistance will receive $800 for the week of November 14. You will receive the strike pay via direct deposit at the bank account you indicated on the UAW enrollment portal.
When will I receive the Strike Assistance?
You will receive Week 1 strike pay on the 8th day of the strike, Week 2 strike pay on the 15th day of the strike, and so on.
Will Strike Assistance be taxed?
Yes, it is considered taxable if you receive more than $600 in strike assistance per year, and the UAW will send you a “Form 1099-MISC”. This is similar to tax treatment of Short Term Disability payments you can receive as a Postdoc as part of the Short Term Disability plan.
Am I eligible for UAW strike benefits if I’m an international or undocumented worker?
Yes, every member regardless of visa or immigration status is eligible. You will receive strike assistance ($400 per week) from the UAW Strike and Defense fund to mitigate lost wages. This is similar to receiving Short Term Disability Benefits from an insurance company while on disability or pregnancy leave. You will not become an employee of the UAW by virtue of receiving strike assistance. Receiving strike assistance does not impact student visa restrictions with regard to the number of hours an international student worker is allowed to work.
I’m an international worker — how does Strike Assistance impact my tax status?
If you are an international worker and you have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), complete all the required fields in the portal. The portal will generate a tax form that UAW will submit. If you receive more than $600 in strike assistance in a calendar year, the following January you will receive a 1099-MISC form with those earnings.
What if I don’t have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?
Once you receive UAW’s Strike Portal link to enroll, you will be asked if you have a SSN/ITIN. If you answer “no”, you will be prompted to enter additional information such as your bank account to generate the appropriate paperwork for UAW to process strike assistance.
What if I can’t complete all of my picket shifts for the week?
If you are unable to complete all your shifts for the week and need an exemption, fill out this form. If any additional information is necessary to confirm your exemption, an elected union leader from your campus will reach out to you. Otherwise, assume your strike pay will be processed. No request for exemption will be unreasonably denied.
How can I return my strike assistance?
Due to IRS regulations, the Secretary-Treasurer’s office has decided that all strike assistance that has been paid out will remain with UC workers. If you have further questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I experience additional financial hardships due to lost pay?
UAW Locals 2865 and 5810 have established a hardship fund to support workers who experience emergency financial hardship due to lost pay. Anyone who is able should consider contributing to this fund (and please urge your colleagues, friends and family to do the same!). Please click here to donate. We will be circulating information in the coming days about how to apply for assistance if you have experienced a financial hardship due to being on strike. You ran review the hardship fund FAQ here.