UAW Academic Workers End Six-Week Strike

On Dec. 14, 2022, striking UAW academic workers at UCLA saw an impressive display of support at a morning rally, where LA County Federation of Labor President Yvonne Wheeler delivered words of encouragement, and union activist Tom Morello performed his signature protest songs.

AFM Local 47 VP Marc Sazer was among the supporters at the UCLA UAW academic workers’ rally.

“It was uplifting to help represent Local 47 and the AFM in supporting the largest higher education strike in our nation’s history,” said Local 47 Vice President Marc Sazer. “We appeared alongside the full measure of the labor movement in Southern California, the AFL-CIO, I.A.T.S.E., SAG-AFTRA, the Animation Guild and others. It was particularly heartening to see conservatory-level music students and music faculty — many of whom are Local 47 members — supporting, joining, learning and growing together.”

Union activist Tom Morello

On Dec. 23, academic workers at the University of California voted to accept new tentative agreements and end the six-week-long strike of 48,000 workers. The vote tally for UAW 2865 was 11,386 to 7,097 in favor of the agreement. The SRU-UAW vote was 10,057 to 4,640 for ratification. According to the terms of each agreement, the strike is finished. UAW workers can return to their employment with gains in compensation, childcare subsidies and paid leaves, plus new protections against bullying and discrimination.

LA County Federation of Labor President Yvonne Wheeler

Within 90 days of ratification, UC teaching assistants and associate instructors will get a 7.5% pay hike. Teaching fellows will get an 8.9% bump. Hourly academic student employees will get 5% to 8% increases. By Oct. 1, 2024, the minimum nine-month salary for teaching assistants with a 50% time appointment will be $34,000. By Oct. 1, 2024, the minimum salary rate for UC Berkeley, UCSF, and UCLA teaching assistants will reach $36,500. Associate instructors and teaching fellows will receive a 16.7% increase. The two UAW contracts just ratified with UC will run through May 31, 2025. In the 10-campus UC system, UAW 5810 representing postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers ratified a new five-year agreement with the University.

The union ratification of the two contracts also ends the Unfair Labor Practice complaints over violations of labor law that the UAW had filed against UC via California’s Public Employee Relations Board.