At the bargaining table last Friday, UC finally dropped their demands to roll back our contract rights around discipline and dismissal — meaning that Academic Student Employees (ASEs) will keep our strong protections against unjust firings. UC also agreed to waive all costs related to language testing for international ASEs. 

And after almost four months of negotiations, UC has offered its first package of economic proposals: wages, childcare, healthcare, leaves, and transit. On wages, UC proposed a 5% increase this year and 3% each of the following three years; this is the highest initial proposal UC has made in the history of our union and reflects our growing power, but with 9.2% inflation it is still an effective wage cut! 

On childcare, the UC has proposed a paltry increase in dependent benefits: from $1100 to $1250 per quarter and from $1650 to $1875 per semester. UC recognized at the table today that “childcare costs have gone up,” but said they have no intention of “covering the cost of childcare for ASEs,” which can exceed $2000 per month even for UC’s own on-campus childcare services. 

UC has proposed no substantive changes to healthcare, leaves, or transit. (You can see these and all other proposals from this round of bargaining in the bargaining tracker.)

Clearly, the UC is not yet ready to meet the demands of ASEs with reasonable discussion — it will take more power and more active participation from all academic workers to win our transformative demands. This means workers on every campus and in every department need to be organized and ready to take action. If your department has an organizing committee, join it! If not, bring your coworkers together to talk about the changes you want to see and what it will take the win — and reply to this email for support getting started.