Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Crimson and Sentinel: Graduate Students reach tentative agreement with Harvard, go back on wildcat strike at UCSC

The Harvard Crimson reports that the Graduate Student Union and Harvard University reached tentative agreements on three potential contract provisions last week. The two sides have made progress since the January 1 conclusion of a four week strike by workers after four mediated sessions, but have still not arrived at a first contract for the GSU.

Of particular conflict are provisions regarding compensation as well as proceedings around harassment and discrimination complaints.

Meanwhile, Graduate Students at the University of California, Santa Cruz launched an open ended wildcat strike for a cost of living increase, Monday, to meet high housing costs in one of the nations hardest rental markets. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that pickets were set up at both main entrances to the main UCSC campus, virtually shutting down all access to the campus at one point on Monday. Striking Teaching Assistants were joined by teaching faculty and undergraduates swelling their ranks, but making member participation in the unsanctioned strike difficult to determine.

Solidarity rallies were reported Monday on other UC campuses. The strike represents an escalation in actions following a grading strike at the end of the Fall semester in which 200 TAs still have not turned in final grades and a sickout last month. UCSC administration maintains that it cannot negotiate with the graduate student workers outside of formal contract negotiations and that the strike action is illegal.

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