Making It in the Bay

UC Santa Cruz Agrees to Reinstate Dozens of Fired Grad Students

NBC Bay Area

The University of California, Santa Cruz agreed last week to reinstate dozens of fired graduate students who participated in a wildcat strike earlier this year over wages, according to multiple reports.

In a settlement Aug. 7 between the university and the student-workers' union, 41 teaching assistants who allegedly withheld grades during the dispute will be rehired, and their disciplinary records will be sealed, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. In exchange, the union will drop its grievances against UCSC.

Under the agreement, the grad students will be guaranteed at least an additional quarter of funding and an employment or fellowship guarantee for academic year 2020-21, according to KSBW-TV.

The university fired 54 grad student-workers in February after they continued to withhold grades until they received a cost-of-living raise of a $1,412 a month.

Originally, about 200 of the teaching assistants decided to participate in the strike without union backing, and students across the 10-campus UC system held rallies in support of the UCSC workers.

During a demonstration at the Santa Cruz campus, 17 people were arrested on charges including unlawful assembly, obstructing a public roadway and disobeying a lawful order, a campus spokesman said.

The workers eventually won a $2,500 annual "housing supplement," KSBW reported.

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