History Faculty Statement on the UAW Strike

May 15, 2024

History Department Strike Statement, May 15, 2024:

UCSC’s History Department faculty members have voted to respect the rights of UAW
4811 members to organize and strike as they vote on whether to authorize an Unfair
Labor Practices Strike. This vote follows UC administrators’ decisions to invite police
onto campuses at UCSD and UCLA to arrest student protestors and academic workers
exercising their legal right to demonstrate against the violence and suffering in Gaza.

UAW 4811 union members will vote on whether or not to go on strike for unfair labor
practices (ULP) from May 13-15. While there are more unfair labor practice charges
forthcoming, the current unfair labor practices charged include the arrest of UAW
members for non-violent political protest; discriminatory treatment based on the content
of protest speech; retaliation for protected concerted activity as employees; and failures
to bargain over changes to workplace speech policies.

We affirm our students' and graduate colleagues' right to protest on campus and to
exercise their rights to free speech without retaliation, forcible police intervention, and
arrest. We affirm our commitment to non-retaliation against all UAW 4811 workers in the
event of an Unfair Labor Practices strike.

Non-retaliation is a baseline commitment of faculty solidarity. We pledge that we will not
use our authority as faculty to penalize UAW 4811 workers in any way for engaging in
this strike; we will not disclose the names of striking teaching assistants to the university
administration, nor will we endorse any disciplinary measures directed at graduate
workers who have participated in the strike. Our commitment to non-retaliation extends
to all legally-protected strike activity by graduate workers who participate in the ULP
strike, including TAs withholding grades, research assistants withholding research labor,
or any other form of legally protected labor withholding. As laid out by the FAQ provided
by the Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA), senate faculty are protected by
California’s Higher Education Employee-Employer Relations Act (HEERA) and can
“decline to perform struck work that is outside our customary duties” in the event of a
lawful strike. As faculty, we recognize that our solidarity can be a decisive factor in
putting pressure on the UC administration to bargain in good faith and bring about a
timely resolution to the strike.