Letters to the Editor: UC defends its contract offer in labor talks to avert a strike
To the editor: Your editorial, “A strike by UC academic workers would tarnish the prestigious university system,” regrettably fails to provide a full picture of the University of California system’s fair proposal to academic employees.
UC has offered the four bargaining units represented by the United Auto Workers multi-year wage increases, with the initial year’s increase ranging from 4% to 26% depending on the bargaining unit.
Furthermore, salaried teaching assistants, who are part-time employees, would make between $24,874 and $30,893 to work 50% time, a 7% increase in the first year. These workers would receive 3% increases in the subsequent years of the contract.
We also understand that affordable housing remains an issue across California. The university continues to increase affordable housing across our campuses. Our system already provides rents that are 20% to 25% below market rates, and some students receive even deeper discounts.
UC has submitted proposals in good faith that are fair and recognize the contributions of our academic employees. While housing is outside the scope of these negotiations, the UC Board of Regents since 2017 has allocated more than $57 million in funding to address faulty, staff and student housing needs.
Our capital financial plan anticipates that UC will add about 25,000 student housing beds over the next five years. The multi-year pay increases the university is offering will also help these student employees with their housing needs.
Michael Brown, Oakland
The writer is UC’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.