Pledge for Research Assistant Rights
Research Assistants (RAs - the bulk of whom are graduate students, often called GSRs) carry out a significant portion of the cutting-edge work propelling our University’s research mission. This work helps attract roughly $5 billion per year to California in research grants, and makes UC a world-renowned public university. Yet these 14,000 RAs currently lack a voice through collective bargaining, even though virtually all other academic employees at UC, CSU and private institutions have this basic and critical workplace right. In fact, many RAs are in the absurd position of rotating between working as an RA and a TA and thus have unequal rights from one academic term (or appointment) to the next.

Now more than ever, due to our national political climate, student researchers need a union. A collectively-bargained contract and its enforcement can fill gaps where rights are taken away. With a union, we can bargain to have access to health care, protections against discrimination, and protections for ensuring safe and healthy work lives. With Senator Skinner as our author, we have introduced SB201 in the California legislature to gain the right to collectively bargain.

RAs should have a right to have a say in their workplace through collective bargaining, and we RAs are letting decision-makers know that we support SB201 and are ready to fight for it. The RA campaign needs many folks to participate in ways that are appropriate and comfortable for them, and we have lots of ideas for how you can participate. Please join us to learn more!

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