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UCSB staff, students participate in statewide strike seeking better wages, benefits

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Posted at 6:56 PM, Nov 14, 2022

All University of California schools saw a state-wide strike Monday as faculty sought better wages and benefits.

More than 48,000 teaching assistants and educators across the 10 UC campuses officially began protesting, including in Isla Vista at UC Santa Barbara.

“Academic workers across the UC system from all campuses have been meeting and conferring with the UC for months,” said UAW PostDoc Unit Chair Evan Plunkett.

As faculty members seek a better wage, the students also show support.

“The UC is counting on undergraduates not to know or care what's going on,” said Sarah Margaron, a third-year student.

The strike began at UC Santa Barbara after 18 months of failed contract negotiations with teaching assistants.

“All of us have encountered the university's illegal, bad faith bargaining behavior, and it is holding up our ability to actually work on the issues that our members told us are important to them,” said Plunkett.

Staff and teacher assistants are being transparent, and are making sure students on campus are aware of what's going on.

“Last spring I worked with one of the lead negotiators on the bargaining team here to help raise awareness to undergraduates on campus about what's happening,” said Margaron.

“Our TAs are the backbone of our university,” said Honu Nichols, a fifth-year student. “Without our TAs, our classes would not run without them there in terms of organizing, answering emails, grading everything, and undergraduates recognize that.”

“The professors are just giving the lecture, but the ones behind the slides are TAs,” said Ella Koukis, a third-year student. “A lot of my TAs weren't able to create a lot of my things because they had second, and third jobs that they had to go to because the school wasn't paying them enough.”

UCSB says they will be issuing a statement regarding the strike later this week.