Nearly 48,000 UC graduate students poised to shut down many classes, labs and research with strike
Students begin the first day of the spring semester, Jan. 9, in the William G. Mathers School of Business at UC Berkeley. Photo: Steve Schwake
They’re sitting in a hotel suite in downtown San Francisco, having just been called back to campus. They are going to miss many classes, most of which are on hold in the upcoming week.
With the UC strike looming and the possibility of walkingouts looming, many are already scrambling to find substitutes and cover classes, with students in other places such as New York, California and Washington, D.C., already preparing for the possibility that they won’t be able to get in.
The union representing the university’s graduate students says they have more than 400 students on strike who will not be returning to their classes on Wednesday. They claim that the university is deliberately “intentionally and systematically” denying students the right to strike, according to the Graduate Students’ Association.
About 40,000 students were on strike last week; Monday, they’ll be back on campus.
UC officials have said the system could be back to normal on Wednesday, although they won’t rule out another possible strike date in February after a review of classes is completed.
“This strike will be an all-out, prolonged effort to demand significant changes to our system,” the GSA wrote Wednesday.
They argue that students should have more input into their tuition and fees so they can better afford the school.
“These are extremely challenging times for faculty and students, but this is a moment for solidarity and action,” they wrote. In addition to financial cuts, they said, UC has been limiting faculty and student union members’ rights to hold meetings, for instance.
University President Jonathan Blum said UC’s recent announcement that tuition for graduate students would be reduced by 10 percent does not mean the GSA “tied to these decisions will be back on the table.”
“UC’s administration and the student leadership have a responsibility to our students to keep tuition stable and affordable for students and ensure that quality education is accessible to all Californians,” Blum said in a statement.
But even students who support the protest, and