Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

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Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages
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Photo: USCB 4 Cola / Facebook

By edhat staff

UC Santa Barbara graduate students join in on the protest demanding a cost of living adjustment.

On Thursday evening, graduate students agreed to join in solidarity with UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) graduate students who were threatened to lose their job if they didn't end their strike.

The UCSC students have been holding a wildcat strike, meaning a strike by unionized workers without union leadership approval, following a monthslong campaign for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in raises for teaching assistants who state they cannot afford the cost of living in Santa Cruz, reports The Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Last week UC President Janet Napolitano issued an ultimatum to UCSC graduate students, turn in your grades or face termination. Her open letter stated the UC Regents have offered benefits to Teaching Assistants in a collective bargaining agreement through June 30, 2022. These include a waiver of tuition, a $300 campus fee remission, a 3% annual wage increase, one-time signing bonus, child care subsidy, and remission of any health care premiums.

“Holding undergraduate grades hostage and refusing to carry out contracted teaching responsibilities is the wrong way to go,” Napolitano stated. “Therefore, participation in the wildcat strike will have consequences, up to and including the termination of existing employment at the University.”

Back at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB), graduate students are demanding their own COLA of $1,807.51 a month and scheduled a "Doomsday Strike" on Friday.

The largest gathering took place at noon with the protestors meeting in front of the UCSB Library. They then plan to march to Cheadle Hall, UCSB's main administration building which houses Chancellor Henry Yang's office. Protestors plan to occupy the building until midnight unless Chancellor Yang stands with the graduate students and calls for Napolitano to stand down her threats.

Organizers of the UCSB protest state they are now not only fighting for a living wage but "now also fight for the dignity and respect that all students and workers deserve."

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Shasta Guy Mar 01, 2020 02:49 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

UCSB protesters may want to pay attention to what happened at UC Santa Cruz. 54 Grad Student TAs just got fired for withholding grades. *** https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/03/uc-santa-cruz-fires-54-grad-student-teaching-assistants-for-withholding-grades-while-on-strike/ ***

a-1586475972 Mar 01, 2020 03:40 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

It's hard to appreciate why the undergraduates should be the pawns in this witholding by the TAs of the Fall semester grades. Sounds as though they're going way beyond what their union is supporting and are work-wildcatting. Looks like Napolitano's offer is a good one.

oops Feb 25, 2020 07:34 AM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

apparently they voted for a full-blown strike....the professors are actually going to have to do some work for a change, at least for a while until they join the movement

PitMix Feb 24, 2020 04:07 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

I was a student in the 80s and tuition at a UC was $500/quarter. I got a loan for $2000 and worked part time and got out with very little debt. Got a job and started paying taxes and have paid them for 30+ years. I think providing a cheap education has worked out rather well for California and also the US. I am willing to vote to extend this opportunity to the young people attending college these days.

oops Feb 24, 2020 06:39 AM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

maybe they should just graduate and enter the real working world. Hopefully they got degrees in viable careers vs some BS degree which all they got is a loan payment

a-1586475972 Feb 23, 2020 03:59 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Roger, you have a nicely developed vocabulary, write well, have a flair for story telling and have a sly sense of verbal irony. So who taught you these skills? Or, how did you become a very competent auto-didactic?

a-1586475972 Feb 22, 2020 07:14 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

The thing about effective strikes Is they withhold services that are actually needed. Nobody cares if some Marxist TA doesn’t show to teach gender studies.

a-1586475972 Feb 22, 2020 10:01 AM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

If TA's can't afford to live here and feel forced to leave, UCSB students might actually get taught their high-priced professors instead. Or start doing their own homework, if they want to learn the subject matter. No more TA dilution of the academic experience. What do TA's do anyway - ran a few supplemental sections and consider yourself lucky if you can understand their poor English language skills. Rethink this whole TA nonsense in the first place, and put our highly-paid professors back in the classrooms. doing what we are paying them to do - educating students; not farming it out to TA's.

a-1586475972 Feb 24, 2020 04:50 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Why not just send all the UCSB students over to SBCC and everyone save a bundle, if UCSB profs just farm it out to teaching assistants. Why don't these teaching assistants work for the junior colleges, where they can get real salaries and benefits? Something is not adding up.

PitMix Feb 24, 2020 04:02 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Professors at UC are not there to teach. They are there to bring in research dollars and support the large staff at the UC's and pay for their overhead. Without TAs, the whole system would collapse.

a-1586475972 Feb 22, 2020 09:48 AM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Protest Sign: "Your TAs Can't Afford To Live Here" ...Uh, yes you can as hundreds/thousands of immigrants from Mexico and Central American currently and have been doing here for years and years. All you need to do is: share a room, give up your cars, ride the bus, cook/share meals at home, bring in your lunch, stop eating out (especially sushi....maybe Edomasa once in a blue moon), don't go skiing/trekking/vacations, give up Netflix, quit shopping on Amazon, and so on. The easiest jobs in the world: student and grad student. "But they work sooooooo hard!" No they do not compared to the non-academic world. These protesters are good at "doing school" so they STAY in school for as long as they can. Turn in the grades.

pstarSR Feb 22, 2020 09:56 AM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

"all you need to do.... " is give up any sense of comfort, and security. thats basically all you wrote. just because they are kids doesnt mean the point is not valid.

sbdude Feb 22, 2020 08:19 AM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

I want an $1800/mo COLA too!!! With respect to debt, it's a lot easier to justify college loans for majors that pay well straight out of college, such as engineering, computer science, etc. Those students are going to walk out of college straight into jobs that pay $75 - $100K or more per year. It's a lot tougher to pay off a big loan if you are a humanities or grievance studies major.

letmego Feb 24, 2020 03:00 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Two per bedroom as a grad student? Hard pass. At that age, sure I rented a cold drafty basement room. But I didn't share it with another adult. When my SPOUSE was a grad student, sure I shared a bedroom. Prior to that? No. Otherwise you cannot get a spouse.

letmego Feb 24, 2020 09:19 AM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

That's got to be a typo. A year maybe? Nope, I looked it up. That is the amount asked for - a bit more than what would be needed for their annual rent to be 30% of their income. Now, a little sleuthing tells me that the cheapest student housing for grad students on campus is West campus. A 2BR is $1173 a month, which would be 29% of a typical grad student income, assuming you shared the apartment (1 BR per person). The question is (too lazy to sleuth anymore) - how many grad student housing units exist compared to the number of students? The answer may be - provide more subsidized housing.

Roger Feb 22, 2020 07:46 AM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Good for them if they are going to slave for some of the cheap employers in Santa Barbara they should get a decent wage. This is where the whiners really come out of the closet can't even squeeze a few pennies out of them without hearing their "Woe is Me" protests....

yiannis93101 Feb 22, 2020 05:11 AM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Oh come on now kids, you’re just now realizing what it costs to live/rent in Santa Barbara? Get a second job like so many people do. Or get another roomie. Good for you that you’ve gotten an education but if you’re don’t like the cost of living I’m afraid you’re going to have to move to the sticks.....maybe Nebraska?!

a-1586475972 Feb 23, 2020 02:44 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

PSTARSR- the county is hiring. Why haven't you taken a government job in this town because they offer what you are demanding. Otherwise, you have no grounds to keep complaining about what other employers are offering. They don't owe you anything. Nor are you forced to take their jobs.

pstarSR Feb 23, 2020 10:16 AM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

no ones whining, I Have worked in most every industry in this town. The trend that has been continuing is that you can pay people pennies to make millions, then force them to drive hours to work while the CEO takes his helicopter. dont give me some dribble about how this "is", you can have your opinion I can have mine. I have lost all respect for employers in this city as they exploit and demand employees do things they should not. "dont like the terms"? yeah I dont like the terms and no one else should either. You should always be paid enough to live, NOT luxury, but food, roof, etc. if you work you should be able to survive. no ones claiming "rights". The support of a city comes from the workforce behind it. if the workforce lives 2 hrs away, they have little care of influence on the city they "work" in. I dont agree, and you dont have to agree with me.

a-1586475972 Feb 22, 2020 10:31 AM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

PSTARSR: So we incorporate Santa Barbara and Ventura counties into a single "city" and then everyone can live where they work. Here is the solution: don't take the job if you don't like the terms. If they really need you, they will pay for you. But if you are fungible and the list of applicants for the job is long and deep, you lose and it is time for you to move on with you life and take your demands with you. No one owes you a living. When the biggest business in town is tax-payer funded government work, you need to make a better case to the taxpayers to support your value to them. Whining demands and claiming ersatz "rights" is not the way to make taxpayers give you their money. Pick a job in private industry where your ability to make, and not just take, is valuable to your employer.

pstarSR Feb 22, 2020 09:59 AM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

the jobs you hold in a town should pay for you to live there. not 2 jobs, not 3 jobs, not 4. and not sharing rooms, eating ramen etc. YOU should be able to live in the city you work, period.

Get over it Feb 21, 2020 06:30 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Unless you know what you want and have a passion for it, it is a terrible idea to take out loans for college. Most college kids have no idea. Either way, there are many ways to avoid college debt. FAFSA, Scholarships (which there are tons and even more if you're smart), starting at SBCC (for free) and maybe your parents being responsible for your education and putting a little something away each month. That said, unless you know what you want to do, it's stupid to put out thousands of dollars to find out .

a-1586475972 Feb 22, 2020 10:38 AM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

College loans are contracts -mutually bargained for and voluntary. You don't get to take the money, spend it and then renege on your end of the contract. Doesn't work that way. Did UCSB leach you values to the contrary, PSTATSR.

Chip of SB Feb 21, 2020 05:24 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

When I was around high school age, I remember a few occasions when older fellows shared some traditional words of wisdom. They all said things to the effect of "hey son, stay in school" and "no matter what, they can never take away your education." I think that was sound advice at one time, when a college degree meant something. I hate to say it, but that is no longer good advice. The cost of college has skyrocketed. At the same time, the value of a college education has fallen dramatically. Today colleges are dedicated to profit rather than students, and they have abandoned intellectual rigor and critical thinking in favor of radical political agendas. College graduates are facing lower wages, dim employment prospects, and crippling non-dischargeable debt. When I stop and speak with a young person, I will change the traditional advice to suit modern realities. "Son, stay away from college." "No matter what, you can never get rid of the debt, they will take everything away from you." "If you want to be successful, don't fall for it, stay out of college and start a career."

FondofSB Feb 21, 2020 04:05 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

They have evidently learned nothing about the realities of life. Maybe, just maybe, they should stop adoring so much those who tell them that everything is now going to be free in life !! Wake up wokes !

a-1586475972 Feb 21, 2020 06:47 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Lori has hers coming and it's going to be a stunner. She's such a fool! Be ready for Poster Woman #1 on why you don't try to scam the system. Shameful!

AdamVant Feb 21, 2020 02:51 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Organizers of the UCSB protest state they are now not only fighting for a living wage but "now also fight for the dignity and respect that all students and workers deserve." Spew Marxist blather, march around aimlessly, and trespass if they don't get their way. Good plan there.

a-1586475972 Feb 21, 2020 09:07 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Adam, I believe that behavior is called extortion. Give me what I want or I will take the place down. No dignity in that. No respect given.

RHS Feb 21, 2020 02:47 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Don't expect the UC leadership to help working folks. These corporate toadies are totally concerned with their bonuses and getting patents to share with multi-national pharmaceutical companies and such. The idea that a university should be a place for academic work, teaching, collegial sharing or training new people into the rarefied atmosphere on intellectual rigor is lost on them. They have sold out to business school ideas of efficiency (most from the least) and "wealth management" (keep it for yourself and don't share with anyone no matter how needy). It is a long and disgusting decline for the UC system.

a-1586475972 Feb 21, 2020 06:45 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

The UC Leadership is in bed with the far right zealots of this country. They believe all students can & will "suck it up" and pay their student loans come hell or high water.

Get over it Feb 21, 2020 06:21 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Seriously? Helping the "working folks?" You realize we're talking about early 20s still on the parent/government/scholarship dime folks Never had an actual career-type job and still live in IV? My daughter is one of those, TAing to help bridge the gap. Absolutely not working for folks. Just getting started folks putting their time in.

a-1586475972 Feb 21, 2020 02:42 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Talk to students graduating with huge college loans, due to the "high cost of their education", and get back to me. Funny no one asks where "high college costs" money actually goes to. No, it is not just for fancy gyms and administrators. No, the "high college costs" wealth gets spread a lot farther across the entire campus. Work this out among yourselves. Best bet is to educate your students so they can actually make a fortune after they graduate, based upon the academic skills and values you imparted to them. Then they can come back as grateful donors, and your funding demands will be fulfilled..

a-1586475972 Feb 21, 2020 09:18 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

Transparent California tells us where the "high costs of education" are getting spread around - see their UC section.. They go to the same Leftist cabal that demands "free college" for everyone. Here is a suggestion: work for free, and then we can talk about free college for everyone. No "free college" blank checks written for you - until you first put in wage and price controls on yourselves. Show us your hand.

Get over it Feb 21, 2020 06:15 PM
Graduate Students Protest for Livable Wages

I agree to a point with you. It definitely takes more than just Prof's and Admin to run any UC. Academic skills imparted, hopefully. Values they have imparted, probably part of the problem.

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