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UCLA Academic Senate releases guidelines for instructors in response to strike

UCLA academic workers picket on campus as part of a University of California-wide strike. The Academic Senate released temporary guidelines regarding final assessments and course grades in response to the strike.(Christine Kao/Daily Bruin staff)

By Alexandra Kaiser

Dec. 1, 2022 6:27 p.m.

This post was updated Dec. 10 at 10:34 p.m.

The UCLA Academic Senate announced temporary guidelines on Thursday for instructors regarding final assessments and course grades in response to the ongoing University of California-wide academic workers’ strike.

Teaching assistants, postdoctoral scholars and student researchers part of the United Auto Workers 2865, UAW 5810 and Student Researchers United-UAW unions began striking Nov. 14, calling for higher wages and better working conditions.The strike remains ongoing, and has now continued into its third week. 

The Academic Senate provided instructors with options for adjusting final assessments and information on submitting final grades if the strike continues past the end of the quarter.

The guidelines state that instructors may not cancel or fundamentally alter the method of final assessments, though they may shorten their final exam or paper, offer the exam remotely or replace an in-class timed exam with a take-home timed exam.

[Related: Professors express concern over strikes as finals approach]

The announcement also said it is against the Faculty Code of Conduct for instructors to fail to hold class and office hours or have scheduled examinations, although the Academic Senate added that the language of the code of conduct allows instructors to exercise professional judgment in complex situations.

The Academic Senate said it requested an extension for final course grade submission deadlines but does not know when the new deadline would be. The announcement also provided guidelines for the grading of graduate coursework, indicating that instructors can choose to grade students based on their work prior to the strike or issue an incomplete grade in the case of graduate courses unrelated to employment as a TA or graduate student researchers. 

The union considers withholding participation in teacher training courses and individual study and research courses a protected activity, according to the announcement. The announcement added that assigning unsatisfactory grades could result in claims of unfair labor practices. 

UAW 5810, which represents postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers, reached a tentative agreement with the University on Tuesday, but said they will continue striking until the contract is ratified and still honor picket lines for those who have yet to reach an agreement. The agreement would not apply to academic student employees or graduate student researchers.

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Alexandra Kaiser | Campus politics editor
Kaiser is the 2022-2023 campus politics editor. She was previously a News reporter and Opinion columnist. She is also a third-year communication and political science student.
Kaiser is the 2022-2023 campus politics editor. She was previously a News reporter and Opinion columnist. She is also a third-year communication and political science student.
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