UC postdoc and academic researchers end strike; graduate students continue work stoppage

Postdoctoral workers and academic researchers at the University of California will return to work on Monday, partly ending a weekslong strike – the largest in UC history. 

The New York Times reported that Friday's ratification vote by about 12,000 of the senior-most striking workers was a surprise, but signaled a tentative agreement to raise salaries and secure additional benefits, including eight weeks of family leave at full pay for researchers.

The five-year agreements reached last week with the two bargaining units would raise salaries by some 20 percent for most postdoctoral workers by next fall and boost pay and benefits for academic researchers.

But the agreement with two of the four bargaining units, left some 36,000 workers still on strike, the New York Times reported. 

Those remaining two bargaining units agreed to the 10-campus university system’s request for private mediation.

Graduate students who help teach classes and assign grades for undergraduates will continue their work stoppage, and campuses are still figuring out how to assess final grades and modify the end of their academic quarters and semesters.

The strike has been difficult for many students.

"So I think most of my classes have been either changed to Zoom or canceled," UC Berkeley undergraduate Susana Sotello said. "And well, at least the majority of my classes are taught by GSIs and lecturers, and only one of my classes is taught by a professor."