ucopnews.gif (12977 bytes)

Tuesday, December 1, 1998
Brad Hayward (510) 987-9195


University of California President Richard C. Atkinson issued the following statement today (Dec. 1) regarding strike activity by some teaching assistants on UC campuses.

Richard C. Atkinson
University of California

The first priority of the University of California is to make sure that instruction continues and undergraduates receive their grades in a timely fashion. Thousands of undergraduate students throughout the state have entrusted the university with their education, and we are making every effort to fulfill our obligations to them.

UC values the important contributions that graduate students make in providing high-quality instruction to undergraduates. We have taken several steps in recent years to address the concerns of graduate teaching assistants and to improve conditions for them:

The university offers both formal and informal means of hearing the grievances of TAs, and we welcome the opportunity to address issues important to their welfare. UC campuses have received very few grievances concerning TA workload issues in recent years.

The University of California currently bargains collectively with 23 units representing approximately 50,000 employees systemwide. A good working relationship with employees and their employee groups matters to us. We recognize that some graduate teaching assistants do not share our belief that collective bargaining in the specific case of TAs could be disruptive to the educational process. But a strike is not the best way to resolve this disagreement.

UC is committed to fostering an open dialogue with graduate students, and we will continue to work with them on areas of the relationship that need improvement.

# # #