Since the ratification of our most recent contract, the UC administration has systematically attacked our working conditions at every campus. Administrators are refusing to hire people at the appropriate appointment percentage; are ignoring past practices of summer funding or pay parity between ASEs and GSRs; are planning enrollment or job cuts for ASEs; and are turning a blind eye to various forms of retaliation that faculty are taking against our coworkers. After previously agreeing to transformative contracts for graduate workers, UC is now looking for any opportunity to weasel their way out of their new responsibilities.
UC IS PROPOSING CHANGES TO ACADEMIC EMPLOYMENT THAT VIOLATE OUR CONTRACTS AND WILL HARM TEACHING AND RESEARCH
- Reducing the ASE workforce by as much as 15% ASE positions are how most graduate students are compensated throughout their degree. Cutting ASE jobs means graduate students across the UC will not be supported in their academic programs.
- Hiring GSRs below 50% and eliminating promotions Though the university agreed at the bargaining table that GSRs would be hired at 50%, there are attempts across the UC system to hire people below 50% in a clear effort to underpay workers and skirt the raises they agreed to. UC is also attempting to stop giving GSRs experience-based promotions in order to circumvent paying the raises they agreed to.
- Increasing class sizes and eliminating TA Sections ASEs are an integral part of students’ education in the UC system-allowing time for one-on-one and small group instruction to help students succeed. Larger class sizes and fewer TAs means that undergraduate students will suffer from large class sizes and less individual attention.
- Refusing to implement the new two-year appointment guarantee for Postdocs
- Replacing Graduate Instructors with unpaid undergraduate ‘assistants’ Our undergraduates should be receiving the quality education they were promised by the UC, not forced to take up the labor of existing instructors to avoid paying workers.
- Shrinking the size of labs and research groups by enrolling fewer students and forcing graduate workers to graduate early or “Master-out”
- Decrease future PhD enrollment by up to a third Despite the UC’s compact with Governor Newsom to increase graduate enrollment by 2500 students by the year 2027, various campuses are threatening to cut enrollment to adjust for wages won in our contracts. The UC agreed to these contracts, they should be able to pay for them without cutting enrollment.
- Paying first year fellows doing ASE/GSR work below the rates set in our contracts
UCSD ISSUES 67 WORKERS FALSE MISCONDUCT CHARGES INSTEAD OF UPHOLDING CONTRACTS
Since we signed our union contracts with the University of California last fall, the UC has continually and systemically undermined them by arbitrarily under-appointing workers, circumventing agreed-upon wage increases, cutting teaching/research positions, and retaliating against striking workers. In response, UAW 2865 and 5810 members across the state have organized numerous grievances, petitions, and demonstrations, only to be met with silence. Most recently, workers staged a demonstration during UCSD’s 44th Annual Alumni Awards Celebration, asking Chancellor Khosla onstage to uphold the contracts that UC signed with our unions. Instead of resolving these issues, UCSD has chosen to illegally curtail workers’ right to protest by issuing 67 trumped-up student misconduct charges. Almost half of those charged weren’t at any of these protests, and all have been accused of blatantly false charges like “physical assault” for peacefully calling on UC to respect their contractual rights.
“UCSD thinks these false charges will intimidate us into complacency, but I’m more motivated than ever to stand up and call attention to the contract issues workers are facing across the state. UCSD has a rich history of misusing the student misconduct system to suppress labor activism and freedom of speech. Using student conduct charges to silence workers for an employer-employee issue is childish and unacceptable. It’s time for these intimidation tactics to stop and for our contracts to be honored in full.”
Maya Gosztyla, GSR, Department of Biomedical Sciences
“UCSD is attempting to use the student conduct process to circumvent my right to protest and organize freely. Their attempt to silence workers is disrespectful for us as employees of this institution, and shows their outright unwillingness to address the widespread contract implementation issues happening at UCSD. They may think these false charges will intimidate us into silence. They couldn’t be more wrong. I am more convinced than ever of the effectiveness of mass disruptive action, and together we will win the fight for fair contract implementation”
Hiya Datta, GSR, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
“Pradeep, the current UCSD Chancellor, and UCSD admin have falsely accused me and other workers of physically assaulting him during a peaceful protest last month. This is nothing more than a transparent and disgusting attempt to silence workers across campus and prevent them from speaking out against wrong doing on the part of the university. This will not work, and neither I nor anyone else charged are in the least bit intimidated to stop speaking up.”
Gwenevere Frank, GSR, Department of Bioengineering
UC CAN AFFORD TO FULLY STAFF ITS RESEARCH AND TEACHING MISSION AND TO FULLY IMPLEMENT THE CONTRACT THAT THEY AGREED TO
UC HAS MORE MONEY THAN EVER BEFORE TO FUND THEIR TEACHING AND RESEARCH MISSIONS
- UC’s 2023-2024 budget is projected to be $47,100,000,000 – their largest-ever!
- That includes an additional +$200,000,000 per year in ongoing state funding explicitly allocated for increasing graduate enrollment and improving educational outcomes
- It also includes billions of dollars in new revenue from the 2021 tuition hikes which were justified as necessary to improve educational quality
UC PRESIDENT DRAKE HAS SAID THAT NO CUTS TO EMPLOYMENT OR ENROLLMENT ARE NECESSARY, EVEN AS DEPARTMENTS CONTINUE TO PLAN THEM.
- At a meeting withe UC regents in March of 2023, President Michael Drake directly denied any enrollment or employment cuts to the regents, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
DESPITE HAVING RECORD FUNDING AND CLAIMING THEY CAN’T AFFORD RAISES, UC CONTINUES TO PRIORITIZE WASTEFUL EXPENDITURES
- UCSD just authorized the construction of a $1.1 billion extravagant new student complex, the price of which could fund the raises of every academic worker at UC.
- The UC Regents just approved giving Chancellor Khosla a $500k/year raise, bringing his salary to over $1,100,000. They also proposed changing their housing policies to make it easier for UC chancellors to buy second homes in addition to the ones UC already provides for free.
- UC invested 4 billion dollars in Blackstone, a private equity real-estate firm that buys up affordable housing with the intention of evicting tenants and raising rents.