Academic workers at UC Santa Barbara are being called to walk off the job and strike on June 3, according to a May 31 decision by the executive board of United Auto Workers Local 4811. Alongside UC Davis, UC Los Angeles, UC Irvine and UC San Diego, the strikes would comprise 31,500 academic workers across the UC.

UCSB’s UAW Local 4811 workers will go on strike at the Arbor on Monday. Kayla Li / Daily Nexus.

The strike will begin at the Arbor at 9 a.m., according to an Instagram post from the Santa Barbara chapter UAW Local 2865.

United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 4811 is made up of 48,000 graduate students who work as teaching assistants (TA), tutors and researchers across the 10 UC campuses. The strike action is in solidarity with the treatment of encampment protestors and nonviolent protests over Israel-Palestine.

UAW Local 4811 filed several Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs) — actions taken by employers or unions that violate the National Labor Relations Act — on May 3 after 200 pro-Palestinian student protestors and academic workers faced mace and physical attacks by counter-protestors. The UCLA Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Department failed to immediately respond to the violence despite alerts beforehand and calls during the escalation. 

Those protestors now face criminal charges and probationary actions. The ULPs initially aimed at UCLA’s administration for their conduct and actions were amended in the following weeks to include administrative violations at UC San Diego and UC Irvine, after the arrests of and disciplinary actions against pro-Palestinian protestors. 

UC workers authorized the rolling strikes in a May 13-15 vote. On May 16, the first day of strikes at UC Santa Cruz, the UC filed a ULP alleging its breach of workers’ “no-strike” clause, among others. The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) is in the midst of ULP charges between UAW Local 4811 and the UC. 

Two days before the latest strike announcement, the UC filed an amended request for injunctive relief on May 29 asking PERB to end the UAW strike across campuses “immediately.” 

“We are disheartened that UAW continues publicly escalating its unlawful strike in violation of its contracts’ no-strike clause and encouraging its members to disrupt and harm the ability of our students to navigate finals and other critical year-end activities successfully,” a statement by the UC on May 31 read.

The strike comes the week of UC final exams, calling into question their ability to proceed without TAs. 

“UAW’s goal to ‘maximize chaos and confusion’ has come to fruition, creating substantial and irreparable impacts on campuses and impacting our students at a crucial time of their education. We are hopeful PERB will intervene and ask the court to end this precedent-setting, unlawful action,” the statement continued.

UCSB Dean of Undergraduate Education Michael Miller issued a campus-wide email in response to the strike announcement, stating the campus has “contingency plans” in place for the TA strike and “resources and strategies to support timely recording of final grades.”

“We do not know how many graduate student instructors will participate in strike activity, but we are working with instructors of record and department chairs to make plans,” Miller said in the statement.

Students who have questions about how the strike will affect their courses’ instruction should email professors, Miller said. Those who have questions on how an “NG” (No Grade) or “NR” (No Record) will temporarily affect their record should contact the dean of their department. 

UCSB workers and students have been preparing for the strike since early May. Its UAW Local 4811 chapter held a walkout on May 20 and a practice picketing rally on May 28. On May 29, the Associated Students Senate passed a resolution demanding UCSB divestment from major defense contractors and its financial disclosures — the last UC student government to do so.

The Nexus will continue reporting on this topic as more information becomes available. For news tips, email the Nexus at news@dailynexus.com.

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Lizzy Rager
Lizzy Rager (she/her) is the Assistant News Editor for the 2024-25 school year. She can be reached at lizzyrager@dailynexus.com