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UC Santa Cruz Strike Spreads

February 28, 2020

The University of California, Santa Cruz’s ongoing graduate employee strike over a requested cost of living adjustment spread to two more campuses Thursday. Graduate assistants at California's Davis campus initiated a grade strike over their own COLA request, and graduate assistants at the Santa Barbara campus started a labor strike. Assistants in Santa Barbara -- one of the nation’s most expensive housing markets -- are seeking $1,807 extra per month, which they say would bring them out of severe rent burden, or having to devote half or more of their stipends to rent. Students at Davis are seeking $1,553 extra per month.

The university system says that students are striking in violation of their union contract, negotiated to include fair pay and benefits with the help of the United Auto Workers. The UAW has not authorized the strikes but has encouraged the university to negotiate COLAs. Teaching assistants at Santa Cruz who participated in a fall grade strike and still have not turned in undergraduate grades are at risk of losing their spring appointments.

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Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

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