UCOP: 2 UAW Units Ratify Contracts; Darrell Steinberg to Mediate 2 Others

Update 8:30 p.m. Dec. 12:  The UC Office of the President issues a statement on the ratification of five-year contracts by postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers.

Updated noon Dec. 12: UCOP announces in a news release that Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg will be the private mediator between UC and UAW-represented academic student employees (teaching assistants/readers/tutors) and graduate student researchers, by mutual agreement of the parties. Details related to the mediation schedule are still being worked out, according to the UCOP news release. The academic student employees and GSRs belong to two of the four UAW units involved in the labor action that began Nov. 14. UC announced Nov. 29 that it had reached tentative agreements with the other units: postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers.

Original article, posted Dec. 9: After months of negotiations, and seven formal requests by the University of California to engage a private mediator, the university is pleased to announce that the United Auto Workers, or UAW, agreed today (Dec. 9) to enter private mediation with the university. This joint move to mediation is designed to assist the parties in overcoming recent negotiation gridlock. 


  • Read Dec. 9 letter from Systemwide Labor Relations in regard to the move to private mediation.

“The university is pleased that the UAW has agreed to neutral private mediation so that we may resolve our differences and end the strike that has been impacting our students, faculty and staff,” said Letitia Silas, executive director of systemwide labor relations. “We remain committed to securing a fair and reasonable contract with the union that honors the hard work of our valued graduate student employees. With the help of a neutral mediator, we hope to secure that agreement quickly.”

Since the spring of 2022, the university and the UAW have held more than 60 bargaining sessions, including nearly daily formal and informal sessions since the strike began on Nov. 14.

The university recently offered the UAW generous proposals that would raise salaries for all graduate student employees by 12.5% to 48.4% over the course of the next three years. The majority of these employees would receive an average three-year salary increase of 26%, not including annual experience-based increases. The offers also include increased child-care reimbursements, campus fee remissions and other benefits. Student employees with 25% or greater employment with the university already receive full coverage of tuition, student services fees and health care premiums. The proposals offered by the university to the UAW would place UC graduate student employees squarely among or above the most highly compensated student employees at any public research university in the nation.

A timeline for mediation will be set soon. During that time, both parties will be prohibited from speaking publicly about the negotiations. Additional details on the university’s most recent proposal, including compensation, are available online.

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