UCSC Students strike
Posted in the Santa Cruz Forum
#1 Mar 3, 2014
SANTA CRUZ -- The graduate student union at UC Santa Cruz plans to strike Wednesday due to grievances concerning workload and the hiring of non-unionized workers.
Representing more than 600 UCSC graduate student teaching assistants, union representatives discovered in December that the UCSC Math Department had been hiring dozens of undergraduates to teach mandatory sections. Not only were these non-union undergraduates working for roughly half the hourly wage but also none of the benefits, such as health care and tuition remission, said union spokesman Josh Brahinsky.
Union leaders met with campus labor representatives several times this winter, asking for an end to the hiring practice and backpay for undergraduate workers, but were unable to reach an agreement. UCSC's latest offer, on Feb. 21, met the union's terms except for the backpay.
Another reason for the strike, said union leaders, is an unfair workload for some arts teaching assistants, who are asked to attend lectures and lead sections more than 13 hours each week.
This classroom expectation, nearly doubled since 2011, leaves little time for correspondence, grading, office hours and preparation, said Brahinsky.
Graduate student Danielle Williamson served as an arts teaching assistant in Fall 2012 and was expected to work 11 hours per week in the classroom. She said she was responsible for more students and had less time to give.
"The increased hours of work that we're expected to be in lecture and section, for me at least, is very much about quality of education for the students," Williamson said.
The union has been without a contract since September, preventing binding arbitration that would bring an end to dispute, said Brahinsky.
"When there is no contract, the end game of dispute resolution becomes a strike," he said.
The union returns to the bargaining table Friday to resume contract talks with campus leaders.
"Two state mediators are currently on campus, talking to the local UAW union and to UCSC Labor Relations to determine if mediation is a feasible option to address the teaching students' concerns and avert their planned strike," campus spokesman Jim Burns said. "Because the mediation process is confidential, UCSC cannot comment on the discussions."
Follow Sentinel reporter Kara Guzman at Twitter.com/Karambutan
#2 Mar 11, 2014
I think John went on Strike in 1992.
And still hasn't gone back to work.
#3 Mar 11, 2014
Profession fraud is so bad here in santa cruz county- fraud racketeering groups really get the run of the place
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