The University of California has reached a tentative labor agreement with its postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers, a significant step toward ending a strike that has dragged on for over two weeks.
The tentative agreement applies to the university system’s postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers, a significant portion of the 48,000 academic employees that went on strike earlier this month seeking higher wages and improved childcare benefits. No agreement has been struck between the university system’s student employees and student researchers, ensuring that at least some employees will continue the strike.
“Our members stood up for improved wages and working conditions that truly reflect their value to the University of California system,” said Ray Curry, the president of the United Auto Workers, the union representing the striking employees. “The tentative agreement reflects the real contributions our members make to the success of UC.”
The tentative five-year agreement includes a new salary scale for postdoctoral scholars, which the university says will result in an average 8% salary increase for all scholars. The university has also promised childcare benefits up to $2,500 per year, and a new family leave program that provides postdoctoral scholars with eight weeks of 100% paid family leave. Academic researchers were also afforded a pay raise and paid family leave benefits.
“Our dedicated colleagues are vital to UC’s research activities and we are very pleased to have reached agreements that honor their many important contributions,” Letitia Silas, the executive director of University of California systemwide labor relations, said in a press release. “These agreements also uphold our tradition of supporting these employees with compensation and benefits packages that are among the best in the country.”
Despite the tentative agreement, UC’s postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers will remain on strike until the deal is ratified.
Meanwhile, the university’s academic student employees and student researchers have still yet to reach an agreement with the university system. In a press release, the UAW said the student researchers had made a proposal to the university 12 days ago but had not received a response.
“This strike has garnered support from all quarters,” UAW Region 8 Director Mitchell Smith said in the press release. “It is time for UC to meet the needs of all UC workers and make serious offers at the bargaining table.”