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UC Santa Cruz students begin strike for better working conditions

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION-TV)- The United Auto Workers are on strike.

The UAW has four different groups of workers protesting against not just Santa Cruz but the entire UC. Postdoctoral scholars, academic researchers, academic student employees, and graduate student researchers all have one common message.

They say they want to be paid and treated fairly.

All the protesters fall into one of those four categories. They want to be able to afford a cost of living. Most important in all of this is being able to afford a place to live.

Even faculty members, like Steve McKay, are behind these protests.

“For one adult in Santa Cruz, sharing a two-bedroom, the cost of living in Santa Cruz is $54,108,” McKay said. “Almost exactly what you guys are asking for.”

One concern about these strikes is how they will impact the classrooms. The University of California has already prepared for this situation.

According to the UC in the part quote:

“All campuses will be prepared to ensure continuity of instruction and research in the event of a UAW strike. Ultimately, differences must be resolved at the bargaining table, with both sides being flexible and willing to compromise.”

Both students and faculty want the UC to know a few things.

Academic Researchers Union member Nicolette said, “We collectively run this entire campus, and we deserve to be compensated for our contribution to this campus.”

UAW 2865 member Sarah Mason took the message further, saying, “This isn’t just a fight for UAW workers. This is a fight about the future of public education. This is a fight about who has power. the millionaire administrators or the workers and the students that run the UC.”

The UC is continuing its talks with the UAW. They’ll try to find a fair deal that’ll satisfy both the universities and workers. UCSC also advises anyone driving past the campus to be careful of picketers.

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Karl Cooke

Karl Cooke is a Multimedia Journalist for KION News Channel 46

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