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.
Christina House is a staff photojournalist with the Los Angeles Times. She officially joined the visual journalism team in 2017 after 10 years as a freelance photographer. House grew up in Long Beach and is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton. Her love for photography started when she visited the Philippines, her mother’s native country, at age 7. That unforgettable experience inspired her to pick up a camera. House won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography and the 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Domestic Photography for “Hollywood’s Finest,” an intimate look into the life of a pregnant 22-year-old woman living on the street. She received the 2021 Cliff Edom New America Award and was honored in the portrait series category for her work on “Game Changers: A Celebration of Women in Sports” from the 2021 National Press Photographers Assn.’s Best of Photojournalism awards.
Irfan Khan was a staff photographer with the Los Angeles Times from 1996 to 2024. He previously served as a freelance photographer for the publication beginning in 1989. Khan started his career as a commercial photographer in 1973 in Pakistan and moved to Dubai in 1977, where he worked for an advertising agency and at a leading English newspaper. Khan’s assignments have taken across Southern California and the U.S. Internationally, he has photographed the Hajj in Saudi Arabia and war zones of the Pakistan/Afghanistan border in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He was part of the team awarded the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for coverage of the 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to semi-classical music of the Indian subcontinent and playing cricket on Sundays.
Gary Coronado has been a staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times since 2016. He is a 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature photography for images of Central Americans risking life and limb as they jump aboard the trains from southern Mexico bound for the United States and a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist in breaking news photography for team coverage of hurricanes. He began freelancing for the Orange County Register and relocated to south Florida in 2001, when he was awarded a fellowship through the Freedom Forum. Coronado grew up in Southern California and graduated from USC.