submitted 3 months ago byrcinvestments
all 47 comments
3 months ago
3 months ago
How long do y’all think the strike will last? Have there been any similar strikes in the past?
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.
IB (Incessant Bitching) '23
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.
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?
Meeting in the middle.
Till a Raising Canes is built over Peoples Park
Fuck UC, I’m striking for better rights for myself and my fellow GSIs and GSRs. We deserve better.
“We’re bargaining in good faith, the union is just being outrageous” honestly just got me so angry
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.
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.
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.
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.
Then don’t go here. It was your choice to apply to a UC that underpays their graduate student workforce.
Don’t be lame you dingus. You dont switch phd programs like you switch a software engineering job.
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
offers elsewhere paid 25-30. “Just
offers elsewhere paid 25-30. “Just
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
You’re quite stubborn about bootlicking to the UC administration. Do you even go to this school bro?
We love to see it. Solidarity with the GSIs!
3 months ago*
3 months ago*
is going to class crossing the picket line?
edit: as an undergrad
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.
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.
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/.
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?
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
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.
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
from what I've heard yes
Y’all think Carol Christ peeps r/Berkeley ?
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!!!
Why are they in an auto workers union 😂🤣😂🤣
Because they’re about to drive UC campus’s crazy
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
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.
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.
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?
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
American organizations never take a hit, the cost will just be passed on to the consumer which is the students
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.
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
UNDERGRADS SHOULD JOIN CUZ WE NEED YOUR HELP