UC: Bargain with the Union Now! The Rent is Too Damn High!

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Amidst the backdrop of California’s housing crisis, the cost of living for Academic Student Employees (ASEs) continues to increase at a rapid rate. With an average salary of $21,000 a year, ASEs at each and every UC campus are now considered rent-burdened, according to criteria laid out by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Workers across the state have mobilized for a Cost of Living Adjustment. So far, UC has responded with intimidation, threatening to fire student-workers on a wildcat strike at UC Santa Cruz.

The time has come for UC to stop playing games and respond to UAW 2865’s—the union representing 19,000 UC ASEs—demand to bargain and meet to resolve the issues that have left so many student-workers economically insecure. It is clear that only the union can bargain a legally-binding contract that will make progress for ASEs and hold the University accountable, but yesterday, President Napolitano released a statement attempting to circumvent the union entirely, and bargain instead with the statewide graduate student government.

We, the undersigned, demand that UC President Janet Napolitano bargain immediately with the union that represents ASEs at UC, and not a third party, so that an equitable and contractually-binding solution on compensation and cost of living issues may be reached.