Letter of support for the UAW strike.
November 14, 2022
The Science Policy Group (SPG) at UCSF stands in solidarity with the members of UAW 5810, UAW 2865, and SRU-UAW in their bargaining with the University of California (UC).
We understand the unions’ workplace demands as issues of science policy — namely, the policies that guide the conduct of science. Key outstanding issues at the bargaining table include wages, housing, transit, and justice for underrepresented and marginalized groups. The unions have drafted proposals that are evidence-based and data-driven
. Each request has been calculated according to the reality of California’s sky-high cost of living. Barriers like cost of living have a disproportionate and severe impact on students and workers from marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds, and continue to dissuade the brightest minds from diverse backgrounds from considering UCSF or other UC institutions for higher learning. Without transformative, forward-thinking changes to the scientific enterprise, we cannot possibly uphold our commitments to diversifying and sustaining a robust scientific workforce into the 21st century.
Leading up to this current moment, members of these unions have engaged in rallies, meetings with key stakeholders, and have been engaged in good-faith negotiations with the UC Labor Relations team for the better part of a year. And yet, little to no progress has been made on key economic issues. Chiefly, the UC team has repeatedly refused to make substantive proposals on transit or housing or to include a cost of living adjustment in their wages proposals. To be clear, there can be no reasonable path forward without enshrining these common-sense measures into workers’ contracts.
Instead, UC has repeatedly broken labor law
by bypassing the union, making unilateral changes to workers’ rights and benefits, refusing to provide information they are legally required to give, and engaging in direct intimidation of workers. Under labor law, these repeated unfair labor practices give workers in these unions the right to strike in order to stop these unjust actions and win a fair contract. We fully support this right.
We know UCSF and the broader UC system to be a leader in the pursuit of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in higher education and research. Most recently, Chancellor Hawgood reiterated our commitment to “funding efforts around wellbeing, social justice, and future of work”
— all of which fall squarely in line with the unions’ proposals.
In closing, we vehemently urge the UC Labor Relations team to cease any and all unlawful labor practices, engage in good-faith bargaining, and agree to the unions’ bargaining demands to ensure a more just and sustainable UC and public scientific workforce.
The Science Policy Group at UCSF