Photos: UC postdoctoral scholars and researchers reach tentative deal but strike continues

Tanya Gupta, a postdoctoral scholar on the picket line at UCLA.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)
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The University of California and its postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers reached a tentative agreement Tuesday that would elevate their pay to among the highest in the nation — but they won’t return to campus yet in solidarity with some 36,000 graduate student employees who remain on strike.

“We are proud to have reached agreements that address the soaring cost of living, and reflect the value of our contributions at UC,” Neal Sweeney, president of United Auto Workers 5810, said in a statement. “These agreements represent a new, best-in-class model that will improve quality of life — and the quality of research — for scientists across the U.S.”

The tentative deal involves two smaller bargaining units and does not settle the uncertainty roiling campuses systemwide over how to handle grading and final exams as fall terms draw to a close. That’s because the workers who do such hands-on work with students make up the vast majority of strikers — graduate student teaching assistants and researchers in two large units, UAW 2865 and SRU-UAW. They remain far apart on wage proposals.

Demonstrators picket at UCLA as nearly 48,000 University of California academic workers strike
Demonstrators picket at UCLA as nearly 48,000 University of California academic workers strike Nov. 14 in a labor action that could shut down some classes and lab work just weeks before final exams.

(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)
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University of California academic workers walk the picket line at UCLA.
University of California academic workers walk the picket line at UCLA.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)
Demonstrators picket at UCLA near a window with dots and the UCLA logo on it.
Demonstrators picket at UCLA.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
A man in a neon-colored safety vest talks into a megaphone as fellow demonstrators hold signs nearby.
Alex Chubick, a student researcher in the human genetics department, leads demonstrators in a chant at UCLA. Chubick is getting ready to graduate but says it’s important to fight for new students coming in.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
Picketers in red shirts hold signs outdoors.
Union leaders say the strike will be the largest at any academic institution in history.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
Shadows of demonstrators are seen on pavement while they picket at UCLA.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many classes, labs or scheduled academic activities were interrupted Monday, but students at UCLA reported some classes canceled.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
Demonstrators are seen reflected in a window as they picket   at UCLA.
In addition to pay increases, workers are seeking child-care subsidies, enhanced healthcare benefits for dependents, public transit passes, lower tuition costs for international scholars and better accessibility for workers with disabilities.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
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Demonstrators sit in while picketing at UC San Diego.
International students, the strikers said, have to pay non-resident tuition fees, which put them on a “treadmill” to complete their degrees in five years, because the university won’t cover their fees beyond five years.
(Adriana Heldiz / San Diego Union-Tribune)
Demonstrators picket at UCLA
A group of 33 state lawmakers sent a letter in support of the graduate student workers urging UC President Michael Drake to bargain in good faith.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
UC San Diego academic workers are seen reflected in a window while they strike.
UC has offered a salary scale increase of 7% in the first year and 3% in each subsequent year, but workers have said that’s not sufficient.
(Adriana Heldiz / San Diego Union-Tribune)
UC San Diego academic workers strike in front of Geisel Library
UC San Diego academic workers strike in front of Geisel Library on campus.
(Adriana Heldiz / San Diego Union-Tribune)
A group of demonstrators hold signs and walk in a large circle while they picket at University of California Irvine.
Unionized academic workers, student researchers, and post-doctoral scholars demanding better pay and benefits rally at University of California Irvine on Nov. 15, in Irvine.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
A view of the pavement where a small dog walks past a small pile of signs that read "UAW On Strike"
Union leaders are asking for large wage increases for academic workers because most of their members are “rent-burdened,” which means they spend more than 30% of their income on rent.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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A long line of unionized academic workers picket at a rally at University of California Irvine
Among other demands, union leaders are asking for $2,000-a-month reimbursement for childcare, full tuition subsidies for UC childcare programs and expanded paid family leave options.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Two young women lead a group of protesters demanding better pay and benefits at a UWA rally at UC Irvine.
Union leaders point out that graduate workers deserve a living wage while powering UC’s cutting-edge research and premier coursework.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
A group of demonstrators with signs walk through a green and leafy area at UCI
Unionized workers have also demanded free public transit passes for academic workers, cash incentives to commute sustainably and subsidies to purchase and maintain bikes and e-bikes, as well as improved campus cycling infrastructure, according to the UAW.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Large group of students walk with signs and a banner that reads "United For a Fair Workplace" at UC Irvine
UC Irvine students walk in support of 48,000 unionized academic workers across the University of California system on Monday morning.
(Don Leach / Daily Pilot)
A banner displaying support for the the protesting UC unionized academic workers is displayed at UC Irvine on Monday.
A banner supporting UC unionized academic workers is displayed by protesters at UC Irvine on Monday.
(Don Leach / Daily Pilot)
A young person in focus speaks with a bullhorn standing in the middle of demostrators.
Students demonstrated near the student union building at UC Irvine on Monday and pledged to be back for as long as it takes to get a deal done.
(Don Leach / Daily Pilot)
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Two students are seen in profile while they walk with picket signs on Monday on US Irvine campus.
Two students walk with picket signs on Monday on US Irvine campus. Substantial progress seemed unlikely, at least Tuesday, as university officials offered to meet with only one of the four units in the afternoon, and had made no offer to meet again with the other bargaining teams.
(Don Leach / Daily Pilot)