Friday, Oct. 3, 2003
Paul Schwartz (510) 987-9924

Below is a statement from Judith W. Boyette, associate vice president for human resources and benefits, University of California, regarding negotiations with the United Auto Workers union concerning UC teaching assistants.

UC teaching assistants, graduate student instructors, readers, tutors and our other academic student employees play a very important role in helping our faculty fulfill the University of California's instructional mission, and the university values highly their many important contributions, as evidenced in part by the fact that their salaries and benefits are among the best in all of public higher education.

UC has been working hard with the United Auto Workers for the past six months on a fair contract that continues to give our teaching assistants the best possible terms of employment within available resources — resources that have been significantly constrained due to the current state budget deficit.

Of course, an agreement requires compromise from both management and the union.

Because the law and principles of good faith negotiating require that the full bargaining process including impasse procedures be completed before striking, we very much regret the union's decision to ask our student employees to consider a strike at this time. Still, we remain hopeful that resolution is near.

The University of California wants to assure our students, faculty, staff and the public that all UC campuses have contingency plans in place to help ensure that instructional activities, as well as general university operations, will continue with as little disruption as possible.

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