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Graduate student researchers across the University of California system filed more than 10,000 signed union cards with the state Public Employee Relations Board Monday. According to information from organizers, 60 percent of eligible graduate student researchers signed on in support of the new union. These researchers “want to continue doing the cutting-edge research that brings in millions of dollars of revenue to UC, but we need a contract that addresses the issues we face,” Katie Augspurger, a graduate research assistant in biochemistry at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a statement. “We look forward to bargaining a first contract that reduces the gender gap in academia, secures important protections for international workers and acknowledges our contributions as researchers.”

The union is affiliated with the United Auto Workers. The UAW already works to represent graduate teaching assistants across the university system.