From today’s New York Times:
Last week, when the University of California and negotiators for striking academic workers announced a tentative agreement to end the work stoppage that began on Nov. 14, union representatives praised the proposed contract.
It was “a huge deal,” they said, with “incredible wage increases” that would finally give starving students a shot at paying the notoriously high rents, from San Diego to Berkeley.
Starting pay for graduate student researchers would leap nearly 57 percent to about $35,500 annually from about $22,000 over the next two years. The lowest-paid teaching assistants would start at about $34,000, far more than the current $23,000 or so. Pay for more experienced academic workers and those in particularly expensive areas would be substantially higher and come with broader workplace protections and greater benefits for health care, transportation and child care.
Not everyone on the 40-member bargaining team was on board, though.
Fifteen members voted against the deal, contending, among other issues, that the pay bumps and cost-of-living provisions were insufficient. They also felt that workers could win more given that they were part of the largest university-based walkout in national history. This week, as 36,000 rank-and-file teaching assistants, researchers and tutors voted on ratification, an opposition campaign emerged.
Read the complete story here.