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UCOP's Bargaining Update for ASEs and GSRs - Dec. 23, 2022


University of California graduate student workers end strike, ratify three-year contracts

We are pleased to announce that graduate student researchers and academic student workers at the University of California voted this week to approve new contracts, ending their six-week strike today (Dec. 23). Under the terms of the new contracts, these workers will be among the best supported in public higher education in the country.

“The University of California welcomes the ratification of these agreements with our valued graduate student employees. The University believed that the assistance of a third-party mediator would help the parties reach an agreement, which is why we are so grateful that the union accepted our invitation to mediation and partnered with us in selecting Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg to serve as the mediator,” said Letitia Silas, executive director of systemwide labor relations. “As a result of this collaboration, the parties were ultimately able to reach tentative agreements on the contracts as a whole in just a few days following months of negotiations. The University of California has negotiated several fair labor agreements over the last year with our represented employees. Today’s ratification demonstrates yet again the University’s strong commitment to providing every one of our hardworking employees with competitive compensation and benefits packages that honor their many contributions to our institution, to our community, and to the state of California.”

The new contracts go into effect immediately and will be in place through May 31, 2025. The University reached tentative agreements with both bargaining units on Dec. 16, and members voted throughout the past week to ratify the contracts.

Historically, the University has provided graduate student support packages that cover in-state tuition, provide annual stipends, and health benefits. Each University-provided support package has traditionally comprised a combination of wages for graduate students appointed as Academic Student Employees (ASEs) or Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs), as well as direct support from fellowships, training grants, and other sources. In addition, these special positions also provide in-classroom or in-lab experience to ASEs and GSRs, making them more competitive in the job market.

In response to the union’s proposals and following the University’s evaluation of other top research institutions across the country, UC has restructured and enhanced its support packages to better align with similarly placed institutions of higher education. These enhancements reflect the important role that these student employees play and the University’s dedication to support its graduate students as they obtain their masters and doctoral degrees.

Click here to view the full update with highlights of the agreement.