Alumni Statement of Solidarity with UC Santa Cruz Wildcat Strike
See the full list of signatories here:

To: Chancellor Larive, iCP/EVC Kletzer

We, the undersigned alumni of UC Santa Cruz, are writing to express our heartfelt solidarity with the graduate workers at UC Santa Cruz. We support the graduate students’ demand for a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) of an extra $1,412 per month for all UCSC graduate students to enable a decent standard of living necessary to engage in academic labor.

The cost of living in Santa Cruz has been rising an average of 15% per year, outstripping the 3% increase in wages guaranteed in the current union contract that was rejected by 85% of UCSC grad workers in the ratification vote earlier this year. As a result, student workers commonly spend more than half their income on rent or are unable to find housing at all, putting them in severe rent burden (see With this rent burden, graduate students sacrifice their standards of living yet continue providing the backbone of the university as teaching assistants, researchers driving UCSC’s world-class research, graduate student instructors, and coordinators of all sorts. The university could not function without their labor. For all of their work and sacrifice, they come to the administration of UC Santa Cruz with one demand: A Cost of Living Adjustment to continue the core work of the university.

On Sunday, December 8th, the General Assembly of hundreds of graduate student workers at UCSC called for an indefinite wildcat strike to withhold final grades until the demand is met. We affirm the basic truth that the graduate students’ collective power comes from their capacity to withhold labor from those who exploit yet depend on them and from their deep bonds of solidarity and care for each other.

Some of us were undergraduate students, taught and mentored by graduate students. Others of us navigated the lack of pay and precarity synonymous with graduate school at UC Santa Cruz. No matter who we are, the graduate student experience colored our experience. Now, as alumni, we are tremendously inspired by Santa Cruz grad workers’ courage, determination, and conviction to enact change. We refuse to stand idly by as UCSC administration continues to allocate funding to exorbitant salaries and housing stipends for administrators to the detriment of the students and workers at the heart of its intellectual community.

**We pledge to withhold donations to UCSC until the UCSC administration agrees to pay the Cost-of-Living Adjustment of $1,412 a month to all graduate students.** We condemn any attempts by the administration to intimidate striking student workers or demonize their actions, and further demand that there be no retaliation of any kind against the strikers and organizers. We further call upon faculty at UCSC to support the strike and refrain from engaging in any actions that would undermine the strike. We recognize that a COLA for graduate students is one step in a broader movement for a #cola4all making UCSC more livable not only for graduate students but also for workers who are currently without a contract and undergraduate students.

Dear workers at Santa Cruz, your struggle is a beacon of hope for all of us everywhere, who are seeking to build real workers’ power in our communities. You deserve everything you are fighting for and so much more. We are with you, always.


Solidarity Forever,
The Undersigned Alumni

See the full list of signatories here:

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