We are the academic workers at UCSD who have faced arrest, felony charges, and expulsion for exercising our right to collective action. We’re writing to tell you that today, UC dropped all charges against us, the direct result of our collective power as academic workers.
Over the past months, UC management has resorted to unlawful retaliation in a desperate attempt to chill our union’s organizing and avoid their obligation to honor our contracts. In May, dozens of us received student misconduct charges for peacefully protesting at an alumni awards ceremony at UCSD. In June, three of us were arrested at our homes for allegedly writing on a UCSD building in chalk. UC police showed up at our labs, followed our loved ones, and searched our homes for union materials.
In response, hundreds of our co-workers have traveled across California to support us at our arraignment hearing, to picket outside Regents meetings, and to directly confront the Regents face to face. Thousands more organized campaigns at the department and campus level. Allies from UNITE HERE, AFT, and other unions turned out to rallies to defend us. Supporters in the Legislature wrote to UC urging them to drop the charges. And officers in our union took the UC to court by filing Unfair Labor Practice lawsuits.
Today, those efforts paid off, and we clearly demonstrated that these unlawful attempts to silence workers will not work now or in the future. Together, we forced UC to reverse course.
This is a victory for all of us in our fight to affirm academic workers’ right to collective action. We should all celebrate our success, and redouble our commitments to fighting the UC for fair pay and working conditions with our ever-growing power.
UC-UAW Joint Statement:
The UAW and University recognize and agree that protest activities must at all times be peaceful and consistent with standards for appropriate labor actions, including applicable laws and policies against vandalism and damaging University property and applicable laws and policies against the disruption of University events. The UAW and the University support lawful First Amendment and protected labor activities which are consistent with reasonable rules, regulations, and standards.
UAW regrets events that transpired arising from the protests on May 29, 2023 and May 5, 2023 in regards to the Marine Conservation and Technology Facility (“MCTF”) at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Alumni Awards Celebration on the UC San Diego campus that resulted in the disruption of a university event and alleged harm to the MCTF building.
To the extent that public discourse regarding recent events has created negative impressions regarding the University’s response to the alleged harm to University property and the alleged disruption of University events, UAW regrets that the discourse created negative impressions regarding the University’s actions in response to these events. The University’s concern in this matter has been focused on protecting University property and the community.
The Parties look forward to working together collaboratively to resolve issues and other matters in our mutual interests.