Campus & community, Campus news, Work life

Information on the ongoing strike at UC Berkeley

What's happening? How did we get here? What can members of the campus community expect?

This school year, transfer students — most of them California residents — comprise 21 percent of Berkeley's undergraduate population. (New Student Services photo)

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Benjamin Hermalin and Eugene Whitlock, chief people & culture officer, sent the following message to the campus community on Monday:

What’s happening?

Strike action by the United Auto Workers (UAW) bargaining units is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. today Monday, Nov. 14th at all University of California locations. The strike involves four separate academic-appointee bargaining units: Postdoctoral Scholars, Academic Researchers, Academic Student Employees (teaching assistants/readers/tutors), and Graduate Student Researchers.

This is an open-ended strike, meaning that the strike activities do not end after a set number of days. We do not know when the strike will end.

How did we get here?

The University of California manages UC systemwide contract negotiations, and ongoing discussions with the UAW did not result in an agreement before Nov. 14, the date the union had authorized as a strike date if no agreement was reached.

UC continues to negotiate with the union and is committed to working collaboratively with the UAW to find solutions to outstanding issues. Learn more about the negotiations and contract discussions at the UCOP FAQ page.

What can I expect on campus?

Faculty, staff, students and visitors will likely encounter picket lines at some entrances to the campus and buildings. Please remember that the law protects the right of all individuals to cross picket lines. In all previous employee strikes on campus, picketers have been very committed to their point of view but respectful of the views of others. We anticipate that this will continue.

The campus may experience some operational inconveniences, such as delayed deliveries.  We anticipate normal operations for most of the campus including campus shuttle services and The Loop.

What will happen with instruction and research activities?

Depending on the level of participation in the strike and the duration of a strike, instruction as well as research activities may be affected. Campus leaders have provided guidance to deans, chairs, instructors and researchers to help ensure continuity of learning and research.  A strike website, accessible with CalNet authentication, contains guidance and associated FAQs that will be updated periodically as the situation evolves and more information becomes available to us.

Students should plan to participate in instructional activities as determined by their instructor of record. Department chairs and faculty will work together to ensure the least amount of disruption to the delivery of instruction and grading, as well as research. Faculty members are aware that they must ensure that instruction is delivered to their students. Some faculty may, for instance, record materials that might be covered in a discussion section and share this recording via bCourses.

Researchers who want to continue normal work are welcome to; however they should anticipate that some members of their research group or community may not be present.

Where are possible picket locations?

While you may encounter strike activity at any entry point to campus, typical locations are at Bancroft Way at Telegraph Avenue and near the campus North Gate area.

What if I have additional questions?

Detailed guidance for instructors, researchers and managers is available via the strike website, which will be updated as needed.  Basic strike information for employees and managers can be found on our HR website. Individuals with questions may also contact Labor Relations at [email protected].  Members of the media should contact the UC Office of the President and UC Berkeley’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

We remain hopeful that the University and the union will soon reach agreement.