As a strike of 48,000 academic workers at the University of California—the largest labor action of the year—stretches into a third week, other universities are watching closely. The outcome in California, experts say, could shape a new model for higher education across the country.
The strike, which began Nov. 14, has led to canceled classes and closed labs as final exams loom at the end of the semester, but union leaders say they’re still at odds with university management. Across the system’s ten campuses, postdoctoral scholars, teaching assistants, and graduate student researchers have walked out. They’re represented by the United Auto Workers union, which says the university has engaged in “unfair labor practices” by implementing changes related to compensation during bargaining and failing to provide information related to bargaining topics—a claim the university disputes.