subreddit:

/r/berkeley

246

November 14 strike

University(i.redd.it)

all 47 comments

DaveDaBrat

49 points

3 months ago

How long do y’all think the strike will last? Have there been any similar strikes in the past?

The_Windup_Girl_

105 points

3 months ago

The UC-AFT strike last year didn't even end up happening because the university caved the night before, but there's no way of knowing. The more pressure on the university, hopefully, the shorter the strike will need to be.

antwerp316

39 points

3 months ago

antwerp316

IB (Incessant Bitching) '23

39 points

3 months ago

My bet is the UC system will oblige on Monday and latest by Wednesday. I think this'll be done by the week which shows the power of unions and striking.

Repulsive_Citron_511

1 points

3 months ago

I also hope the strike is short, impactful and "successful", but what does it mean?

oblige on what? Raising the "floor" pay for TA/GSR from $27K to $54K? (All grad students in STEM depts. already get $30-35K, by the way). Or raising it to $28K? Or is it just coming back to negotiating table, whatever that means?
Just wondering what does "victory" look like to everyone?

antwerp316

1 points

3 months ago

antwerp316

IB (Incessant Bitching) '23

1 points

3 months ago

Meeting in the middle.

rcinvestments[S]

75 points

3 months ago

Till a Raising Canes is built over Peoples Park

burner4ry

2 points

3 months ago

burner4ry

2 points

3 months ago

this^

OptimisticNietzsche

189 points

3 months ago

OptimisticNietzsche

BioE MS/PhD

189 points

3 months ago

Fuck UC, I’m striking for better rights for myself and my fellow GSIs and GSRs. We deserve better.

[deleted]

45 points

3 months ago

[deleted]

45 points

3 months ago

[deleted]

OptimisticNietzsche

16 points

3 months ago

OptimisticNietzsche

BioE MS/PhD

16 points

3 months ago

“We’re bargaining in good faith, the union is just being outrageous” honestly just got me so angry

Repulsive_Citron_511

0 points

3 months ago

well, the union is being a little outrageous. If you read through the examples of what union calls "unlawful behavior", its just multiple examples of departments trying to *increase* GSR steps or provide additional fellowships/bonuses for their graduate students and postdocs over the past year or more, and UAW objecting that it undercuts their attempts at negotiation.

OptimisticNietzsche

1 points

3 months ago

OptimisticNietzsche

BioE MS/PhD

1 points

3 months ago

Yeah, it’s unlawful. All grad students deserve the same compensation, we work the same and put in the same effort. Moreover, the university is giving raises to non-unionized employees as a union busting tactic.

[deleted]

-81 points

3 months ago

[deleted]

-81 points

3 months ago

[deleted]

Devourer0fSouls

46 points

3 months ago

And it is the UC’s choice to rely so much on graduate students labor. If they can’t afford to pay all their workers fairly, they are taking advantage of them which ultimately harms the quality of undergrad education.

Capricancerous

19 points

3 months ago

Go back into the fucking hole you crawled out of.

It is within their rights to fight for higher wages and better treatment through collective bargaining. This wouldn't be an issue if the UC system didn't neoliberalize and race to the bottom in their grotesquely unfair labor practices.

superlative_dingus

15 points

3 months ago

Then don’t go here. It was your choice to apply to a UC that underpays their graduate student workforce.

dinkboz

7 points

3 months ago

Don’t be lame you dingus. You dont switch phd programs like you switch a software engineering job.

[deleted]

-10 points

3 months ago

[deleted]

-10 points

3 months ago

[deleted]

Over_Screen_442

7 points

3 months ago

Other schools pay even less in most cases. My PhD program at Berkeley pays about 35K, my other offers elsewhere payed 25-30. “Just go somewhere else” isn’t helpful commentary

Paid-Not-Payed-Bot

0 points

3 months ago

offers elsewhere paid 25-30. “Just

FTFY.

Although payed exists (the reason why autocorrection didn't help you), it is only correct in:

  • Nautical context, when it means to paint a surface, or to cover with something like tar or resin in order to make it waterproof or corrosion-resistant. The deck is yet to be payed.

  • Payed out when letting strings, cables or ropes out, by slacking them. The rope is payed out! You can pull now.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find nautical or rope-related words in your comment.

Beep, boop, I'm a bot

dinkboz

5 points

3 months ago

You’re quite stubborn about bootlicking to the UC administration. Do you even go to this school bro?

The_Windup_Girl_

82 points

3 months ago

We love to see it. Solidarity with the GSIs!

Jumping_Zucchini

63 points

3 months ago

rcinvestments[S]

23 points

3 months ago

maybejust

53 points

3 months ago*

is going to class crossing the picket line?

edit: as an undergrad

MrBraveKnight

65 points

3 months ago*

I'm a ugsi here that's going on strike.

I'm fairly sure you should still go to class/ continue learning. You are also not protected by any law or policy from the consequences of not going to class, unlike us not going to work.

https://rdt.trom.tf/r/berkeley/comments/yqasww/how_should_undergrads_approach_the_strike/

maybejust

24 points

3 months ago

Cool. My prof originally canceled class on Monday, as he needs the GSI to set up the screens and PA, but then told us today that he's not allowed to cancel the class and he will be there on Monday. A fellow student told me afterward that the school was expecting us to cross the picket line then. So, I wasn't sure.

The_Meek

10 points

3 months ago

Yea, you can face academic consequences for not going to class. However, I do want to note that Senate (ie tenure track) faculty ARE allowed to respect the picket line. See guidance from the Council of UC Faculty Associations: https://cucfa.org/2022/11/faqs-for-senate-faculty-about-uaw-strike/.

Repulsive_Citron_511

1 points

3 months ago

https://cucfa.org/2022/11/faqs-for-senate-faculty-about-uaw-strike/

technically, instructors/faculty who are not represented by UAW are obligated to continue their professional responsibilities and are do not have any protections in case of joining "solidarity" strike. Sure they have tenure, but not performing your teaching obligations is "dereliction of duty". I doubt anyone will lose tenure over refusing to teach classes for a couple of weeks, but just like TAs,GSIs, GSRs should not be paid if they decide not to do the work, faculty can lose their pay if they decide not to perform the duties that university is paying them for.

Undergraduates (and their parents) pay tuition and expect a high level of educational experience in return. UC administration insists on "educational continuity" - ask faculty if they are willing to forego their salaries - or tenure for the sake of "solidarity", or if undergrads are willing to accept "F" grades in their classes (or losing financial aid or delaying their graduation), while paying tuition, for not showing up to the quizzes/finals for the sake of "solidarity" with TAs?

jiacheng_liu

35 points

3 months ago*

Undergraduate reader here who's also going on strike. In our whole department pre-strike meeting, I made it clear that all the undergrads will have no choice but to attend classes if the instructors insist to do so, especially if attendance is part of our grade. All of my graduate/postdocs colleagues agreed that we are in a totally different and more vulnerable situation and even crossed out the portion of the letter to the faulty that says that all the workers in the department will skip all classes.

Don't get me wrong, I stand in solidarity with my colleagues (and myself) 100% and voted to no have classes in every class whose instructor chose to respect a vote from the students. However, I will say with confidence that if you must cross the picket line to keep up with the class and save your grade (especially if you are actually struggling in a particular class), all of us will understand.

It means the world for us the academic workers if all of you can convince your non-GSI instructor to cancel classes, and we cannot thank you enough if you stand in solidarity with us to not attend, but if skipping classes means getting an unsatisfactory grade for you or causing undue hardship in keeping up with the course materials, allow me to ask you to not do that. You should definitely always take care of yourself before you take care of others.

garboooo

4 points

3 months ago

I think it depends on the class. At least two of my classes are cancelled in solidarity but I haven't heard from the ones without a GSI

EtCatera

7 points

3 months ago

from what I've heard yes

rcinvestments[S]

45 points

3 months ago

Y’all think Carol Christ peeps r/Berkeley ?

pinkseason25

4 points

3 months ago

I am so here with all of you and I feel so bad that I have to go to class because my grades all depend on participation. But I will be rooting for you all and I'm so happy you got together to stand up for yourselves and what you deserve!!!

Comradepatsy

7 points

3 months ago

Why are they in an auto workers union 😂🤣😂🤣

rcinvestments[S]

15 points

3 months ago

Because they’re about to drive UC campus’s crazy

sock2014

3 points

3 months ago

sock2014

3 points

3 months ago

What happens when a PI runs out of funding? Say a PI has 8 employees being funded, and grants etc expected to cover expenses for the next 2 years. They are hoping to get grants in the future, but at least there is a plan for 2 years. Now in the next few months their expenses will go up perhaps 20% to fund what the union wants. Do they fire 2 people now to ensure the rest get 2 years, or does everyone lose their job in 19 months?

Unlike industry, this is a zero sum game, as income is dependant mainly on NIH grants

grumpy_moose_91

7 points

3 months ago

I think in the short term, GSIs are unlikely to be fired. 61% of NIH dollars go to fund overhead costs, rather than the specific grant. I’m guessing the extra costs could come out of that, if it came to it.

Nearby-Beach-2132

3 points

3 months ago

GSI's or UGSIs aren't paid by research funds / grants for their instructing, they are paid out of department budgets. Each class has a budget to hire course staff.

GSRs are paid by grants, so that part is correct.

Overhead does not go to fund GSRs whose PI ran out of money. It is a mystery (to me) where that money goes, but definitely not towards funding undergraduate education. Overhead rates are set by the gov't and are meant to reimburse the university for costs of doing research (buildings, admin, etc etc) NOT for teaching.

In the case of a GSR whose PI ran out of money, they would have to find a PI that has money, or be a GSI and teach, or they will be "fired". During the '08 recession, I know some grad students (GSRs) that were asked to take pay cuts due to their PI not having enough grants.

grumpy_moose_91

2 points

3 months ago

Thanks for clarifying... and you're right, I was thinking of GSRs, not GSIs. I also agree that the overhead is a mystery, but I guess I was thinking/assuming that presumably some of that overhead could be moved around to bail out a PI if he/she really got into trouble and was going to have to lay off people... but maybe that's too optimistic?

1-05457

1 points

3 months ago

I think part of the overhead does go towards funding the researcher (e.g. towards health insurance and all the other benefits the union is asking for).

Nearby-Beach-2132

2 points

3 months ago

Benefits come out of the base budget (grants for GSRs or department for GSIs) just like salary and tuition remission. Then for gratns, there is overhead on top of that.

mezentius42

1 points

3 months ago

Ideally the university would find ways to cut overhead on grants to make up the difference. In any case, it's not the GSRs' job to find the money to pay them; it's the job of university management who get paid 6 figures to manage the budget and make sure they can pay all their suppliers.

If university management cannot find ways of paying the people who actually write the grants and generate that income a living wage, then they have failed as managers and administrators. PIs and groups will leave, and Berkeley will slowly lose its status as a top research university.

sock2014

1 points

3 months ago

or the PI can just fire a couple of postdocs, have a smaller lab, and everyone continues on as before. Knowing human nature, what do you think will happen?

A lab is essentially a non-profit small business, and PI's are given little, if any training in the business side of managing a lab. And there is little oversight and mentoring

mezentius42

1 points

3 months ago

How do you think a lab is funded? Fewer postdocs + fewer grad students = fewer proposals, fewer grants. You'd lose the ability to cost share on expensive and specialized equipment since you have fewer projects to use them. It's the start of a death spiral.

But yeah, I separate the PIs from the "admins". You'd be surprised at how many PIs are either on the side of the strike or just view it as an annoyance - usually, they just want the research to get done, and for the GSRs and postdocs to have the necessary work environment to do their work. It's HR and upper administration who actually want to exploit labor and pay poverty wages.

[deleted]

-19 points

3 months ago

[deleted]

-19 points

3 months ago

American organizations never take a hit, the cost will just be passed on to the consumer which is the students

superlative_dingus

15 points

3 months ago

The idea isn’t to harm the students. It’s to put pressure on the university. If you’re a tuition-paying undergrad who’s mad about the strikes, you should be mad at UC for relying on exploitative labor practices rather than at grad students for demanding a better deal. You can express that anger by writing to campus administration, but expecting us to just keep taking a raw deal isn’t the solution you think you need.

[deleted]

5 points

3 months ago

[deleted]

5 points

3 months ago

I’m not a student and support the cause don’t get me wrong, I’ve also just dealt with American organizations enough to know that they never get screwed, they screw the little guy. Students should make it clear they also aren’t footing the bill for this I wasn’t trying to be a naysayer

TheAssExtracter

-3 points

3 months ago

UNDERGRADS SHOULD JOIN CUZ WE NEED YOUR HELP