UC academic student employees and graduate student researchers from SRU-UAW and UAW 2865 reached a tentative agreement with the UC Office of the President, or UCOP, on Friday.
Provisions under the temporary agreement include minimum salary scales, multiyear pay increases, paid dependent access to university health care and enhanced paid family leave, according to a UCOP bargaining update. If approved, the contract will be effective through May 31, 2025.
“These agreements will place our graduate student employees among the best supported in public higher education,” said Michael Drake, UC Board of Regents president, in the update. “If approved, these contracts will honor their critical work and allow us to continue attracting the top academic talent from across California and around the world.”
The agreement follows a mutual decision from the striking academic workers and UCOP to engage a third-party mediator, Sacramento mayor and former California State Senate president pro tempore Darrell Steinberg, to facilitate discussions Dec. 9. New provisions build on the UC’s last offer made Dec. 2.
According to the update, a new, six-point salary scale for graduate student researchers will start at $34,564.50 for 50% time work starting Oct. 1, 2024. A minimum nine-month salary for teaching assistants will be set at $34,000 for 50% time work, while the minimum rate at UC Berkeley, UCSF and UCLA will be $36,500. Rates for associate instructors and teaching fellows will correspond proportionally to the increases for teaching assistants.
Clauses for childcare reimbursements are also included under the new agreement, as well as coverage of nonresident supplemental tuition for up to three years for eligible academic student employees and graduate student researchers, according to the update.
If ratified by union members, the agreement clarifies that all unfair labor practice charges will be dismissed and student employees will be expected to return to work, with picket lines being pulled down immediately.