Nearly 50,000 academic workers across the University of California system went on strike November 14 in the largest US work stoppage of 2022. After more than a year of bargaining, teaching assistants, researchers, post-doctoral students, and others on ten campuses represented by the United Auto Workers left their classrooms and labs. Their demands include increased compensation, childcare reimbursements, job security protections, sustainable transit incentives, eliminating fees for international scholars, and stronger disability accommodations. A membership survey by the unions found 92% of graduate workers and 61% of postdoctoral scholars are “rent burdened,” spending more than one-third of their income on monthly rent.
The strikers’ “core demands” include a program for “Climate & Transit.” According to their website:
To combat climate change and reduce emissions, 48,000 UAW-represented Academic Workers are demanding:
- Free public transit passes for all workers who want them
- Cash incentives to commute via sustainable means
- Subsidies for the purchase and maintenance of bikes and e-bikes
- Improved campus cycling infrastructure
For background on the strikers’ fair transit demands: https://www.fairucnow.org/transit/