UC Academic Workers End 40-Day Strike

A 40-day strike by academic workers across University of California campuses finally ended late last month with the ratification of two long-awaited contracts.

The agreements will boost wages for all 36,000 academic workers, which include teaching assistants and research assistants. Some workers will see pay boosts as high as 80%. 

The strike was unprecedented in its duration. United Auto Workers, which represented the employees, says it was the largest ever among academic workers. 

The agreement was forged after Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg stepped in as a mediator. It stipulates that minimum pay for teaching assistants will be at least $36,000 by the end of 2024, with higher pay in high-priced cities. Graduate student researchers will earn at least $40,000.

"The dramatic improvements to our salaries and working conditions are the result of tens of thousands of workers striking together in unity," Rafael Jaime, president of UAW 2865, said in a statement. "These agreements redefine what is possible in terms of how universities support their workers, who are the backbone of their research and education enterprise."

UC officials said the agreement “demonstrates yet again the University's strong commitment to providing every one of our hardworking employees with competitive compensation and benefit packages that honor their many contributions to our institution, to our community, and to the state of California.”