UC Student-Workers Union meets with UCOP to continue contract negotiation

UC students, faculty, and workers join the University of California’s academic student workers union (UAW 2865) in a march against UC’s responses to the UAW 2865’s 2013 contract demands. Thursday, June 6th, Downtown Oakland.

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The UC Student-Workers Union, or UAW Local 2865, and the UC Office of the President, or UCOP, held their second round of negotiations Wednesday at UC Davis, where the two groups continued to bargain for a new union contract.

During the session, UAW Local 2865 made several demands, including that the university provide a plan for affordable housing, establish sanctuary campuses, put an end to police brutality on UC campuses and expand support for student families. According to a press release from UAW Local 2865, these demands reflect UC student workers’ goal to build a “UC for All.”

UC student workers’ current employment contract is set to expire June 30. This negotiation is one of many that will continue to take place across various UC campuses until a new contract is agreed upon.

Duane Wright, a steward for UAW Local 2865 and a doctoral candidate at UC Davis, said contract negotiations provide an avenue for student workers to fight for their demands. Wright is uncertain that UCOP will agree to address the demands made by UAW Local 2865.

“We’re just trying to use our contract to make grad school more accessible and a better experience,” Wright said. “It seems like more of the same from the university. After … student parents came to talk about housing, (UCOP) said they see housing as a student issue, not a worker issue. … They say their economic package will not include housing.”

On the issue of sanctuary campuses, Wright said the UC was not willing to put protections for undocumented student workers into the contract, and that UCOP didn’t want to do anything that would be legally binding.

When asked about Wednesday’s negotiations, UCOP spokesperson Stephanie Beechem referred to comments made during UCOP’s first meeting with UAW Local 2865, which took place Feb. 28 in the union’s statewide office in Berkeley.

“We’re going to keep pushing them to see if we can get them to move on these issues,” Wright said. “We’re not going to give up.”

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