Nearly 50,000 California University Employees Strike, Demanding Higher Pay

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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Thousands of campus employees walked off the job to strike on Monday at several California universities, according to the Associated Press.

About 48,000 teaching assistants, graduate student researchers and tutors from the University of California’s (UC) 10 campuses, including the prestigious Los Angeles and Berkeley locations, are striking for an increase in pay and child-care pensions, according to the AP. The strike is the largest in the history of higher education and has no planned end date as some professors canceled their classes indefinitely. (RELATED: Tenured Professors Strike At University After Contract Negotiations Fail)

“Our union stands with our members in California as they fight for fairness and an equitable collective bargaining agreement,” United Auto Workers (UAW), the union representing the university employees, said in a statement. “This strike is the largest in the nation, the biggest of the year and the largest at any academic institution in history. We urge the University of California to stop their misconduct and bargain in good faith with their academic workers who perform critical work every day.”

Those striking are pushing for salaries of at least $54,000, the AP reported. The workers turned down the university’s previous offer of a first-year 5% raise with a 3% increase in each subsequent year.

People walk towards Sather Gate on the U.C. Berkeley campus on July 22, 2020 in Berkeley, California. U.C. Berkeley announced plans on Tuesday to move to online education for the start of the school's fall semester due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

People walk towards Sather Gate on the U.C. Berkeley campus on July 22, 2020 in Berkeley, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The university is negotiating with UAW on four separate contracts for postdoctoral scholars, academic researchers, academic student employees and graduate student researchers, according to the university’s website. The parties have been in negotiation since Saturday and have conducted 50 bargaining sessions in relation to the contract, according to ABC 7 News.

“We strongly disagree with the UAW allegations that UC has engaged in unlawful behavior,” the university said in a statement on its website. “Throughout the negotiations, UC has listened carefully to the union’s concerns and bargained in good faith, as illustrated by the many tentative agreements reached thus far including on topics underlying the UAW’s allegations. Despite these claims, UC remains committed to continuing its good faith efforts to reach agreements with UAW as quickly as possible.”

UC and UAW did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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