Nov. 16, 2022
Michael Drake, President
University of California
Office of the President
1111 Franklin Street Oakland, CA 94607
RE: UAW-represented UC Academic Workers on Strike
Dear President Drake,
We, the undersigned, wish to express unconditional solidarity with the 48,000 University of California employees who are currently on strike to protest UC’s unfair labor practices. Commencing on Nov. 14, the strike is the largest at any academic institution in history. The systemwide strike consists of Academic Workers who teach classes, grade papers, and perform research that make the UC a world-renowned public university. To paraphrase their motto: UC works because they do.
The UC is not just a premier public university system and research institution; it is also one of California’s largest employers. As such, it has an obligation to lead the way for other public employers in setting industry standards for academia.
It is our understanding that the UAW’s four bargaining units are negotiating in good faith to improve the working conditions of all Academic Workers, as well as reach a contract with adequate benefits and compensation. Other issues of importance for these workers include gender and other types of equity, transit benefits that help fight climate change, paid family leave, and job security.
A UC contract that embraces these priorities would be ground-breaking and help the UC recruit and retain a diverse workforce that reflects our state.
The workers on strike are bargaining four separate contracts with UC and publicly acknowledge that they are using their collective bargaining power “to ensure that academic workers are valued and empowered to fulfill the mission of UC as a truly public institution.” As labor organizations representing workers at the nation’s largest public university system, we wholeheartedly support our UAW siblings in their struggle to build a better UC.