FMST stands in solidarity with grad student strikers

November 17, 2022

UCSC Feminist Studies Solidarity Statement

The Feminist Studies Department urges the UCSC administration to persuade UCOP to bargain with the UAW in good faith and to take the bargaining position of the UC Graduate Student Associations seriously. This is necessary to bring UC’s graduate student employee salary scale into line with that of our comparison institutions, to account for the cost of living in California, and to keep pace with the rate of inflation especially in rents and cost of living. This is made all the more urgent by the ongoing critical shortage of affordable rental housing in Santa Cruz county. A recent study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition ranked the Santa Cruz-Watsonville metropolitan area as the second most expensive region in the nation for renters. We urge the UCOP administration to consider their response to the strike as a reflection of their broader commitments to sustain the university as a public good and to improve the living and labor conditions of all people in California.

As a departmental community, we have always advocated for our graduate student colleagues in their studies and in their work. We well understand that students not only have the right to strike but also may need to strike to bring about a resolution that meets their pressing needs. As part of our support, we will not cooperate with any retaliatory or disciplinary measures against strike activity. We should not be expected to make up for work not carried out by striking employees. Our department and university rely on the labor of our Academic Student Employees to carry out our research and teaching missions; supporting them supports us all.