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California PERB declares UC failed to recognize student researchers union

The California Public Employment Relations Board declared the University of California officially failed to recognize the student researchers union after the University’s response intended to exclude trainees and fellows. (Sakshi Joglekar/Assistant Photo editor)

By Christine Tran

Sept. 29, 2021 4:52 p.m.

The California Public Employment Relations Board announced the University of California failed to recognize the UC Student Researchers United-UAW union.

On Sept. 2, the UC filed a letter with PERB where the University stated it was willing to recognize approximately 11,000 graduate student researchers, however, it found the inclusion of fellows and trainees in the union inappropriate.

PERB filed a letter on Sept. 8, stating that the UC was given only two choices as a response – to recognize the entire union or provide reasons for denial.

As a result of the UC’s attempt to partially recognize the SRU-UAW, PERB declared the UC’s response as a complete denial of recognition of the union.

“It appears that the University sought to recognize only part of UAW’s petitioned-for unit. This was not one of the choices available to the University,” the letter from PERB stated, “Because the University failed to recognize the petitioned-for unit, PERB must treat the University’s September 2, 2021 response as a denial of recognition.”

PERB also stated in the letter that the SRU-UAW has the option to file for a board investigation within 90 days of the UC’s letter.

SRU-UAW issued a press release Sept. 9 in response to PERB’s letter and the UC’s denial to recognize the union.

“As someone whom UC said did not qualify as an employee and therefore should be excluded from the union, I am glad that PERB took the time to point out UC’s attempt to sidestep the law,” said Elizabeth McCarthy, a UC San Francisco student researcher in the press release.

On Sept. 22, the SRU-UAW began collecting votes on a resolution demanding the UC drop its objections and recognize all units of the union. The resolution also asks individuals if they are willing to support organizing a strike authorization vote if necessary and if the UC continues to not recognize the union.

According to the union’s website, voting on the resolution will end Oct. 20th at 8 p.m.

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Christine Tran | National news and higher education editor
Tran is the 2021-2022 national news and higher education editor in addition to being a contributor for Enterprise. She is also a fourth-year political science student at UCLA.
Tran is the 2021-2022 national news and higher education editor in addition to being a contributor for Enterprise. She is also a fourth-year political science student at UCLA.
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