Response to admin’s anti-union emails

We are happy to answer any questions about unions, our unit, and are member-led. This means that we are all grads at UCSB- and some of us are/ have been/ will be grad research assistants, as well as TAs during our time at UCSB. We are your colleagues and are committed to transparency, inclusion, and democracy.

Below is the joint council statement in response to the anti-union emails being sent by admin at all campuses.

Dear UC Student-Worker Union Member,

We recently wrote to you when Governor Brown signed SB 201 into law. This historic piece of legislation extends the definition of employee to graduate student researchers (GSRs), which enables GSRs/RAs to form a union and collectively bargain for their rights. Many of you have rightly expressed concern about recent email communications from UC administrators following SB 201’s passage, which seem intended to have a chilling effect on student-workers being able to freely exercise our right to discuss unionization and workplace issues without employer interference. Our union is in contact with our legal counsel to discuss whether UC’s emails constitute an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) under California labor law.

While we are disappointed by UC’s email communications, we are not surprised: The UC administration has fought against GSR/RA collective bargaining rights for 35 years, and the UC formally opposed SB 201 during this legislative session.

What the UC administration didn’t mention in their communications is that through collective bargaining, TAs, tutors, and readers have negotiated significant improvements to our working conditions since we formed our union in 2000. During our last round of contract negotiations in 2014, our union won a 17% wage increase over 4 years; a 50% increase in the childcare subsidy for working parents; workload protections and remedies for over-work; zero-premium health insurance; protections against harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender, race/ethnicity, religion, and more; appointment security; employment opportunities for non-DACA undocumented students; and the right to access gender-neutral restrooms. The UC was not willing to simply give us these rights – we were only able to win these significant gains by exercising the collective strength and power of our member-driven, member-run union.

Without a union to enforce the victories of contract negotiations, none of these rights and benefits are guaranteed, and binding protections against harassment and discrimination do not exist. That’s why GSRs/RAs at the University of Washington, University of Connecticut, New York University, and several other colleges and universities have joined together with other student-workers to form unions and strengthen their collective voice.

This is a big year for our union. We’re fighting back against the Trump administration’s regressive policies; negotiating a new contract for TAs, readers, and tutors; building our membership to strengthen our power as a union; and continuing conversations with our colleagues who work as GSRs about the rights and protections student-workers have won through unionization. We will need your help to be stronger than ever as a union. Please email us to get involved in these efforts!

In Solidarity,

The Joint Council of the UC Student-Workers Union, UAW 2865

Mike Wilson Becerril (UCSC), Head Steward
Kendall Grady (UCSC), Head Steward
Lisa Hofmann (UCSC), Head Steward
Juan C. Dávila Santiago (UCSC), Head Steward
Abby Walsh (UCSC), Head Steward
Kyle Galindez (UCSC), Campus Recording Secretary
Anna McTaggart (UCSC), Campus Chair
Emily Ellis (UCSB), Head Steward
Andrew Elrod (UCSB), Head Steward
Sarp Kurgan (UCSB), Head Steward
Daniel Lazar (UCSB), Head Steward
Avi McClelland-Cohen (UCSB), Head Steward
Dell Rose (UCSB), Head Steward
Hannah Kagan-Moore (UCSB), Campus Recording Secretary
Meg Unden (UCSB), Campus Chair
Alexia Arani (UCSD), Head Steward
Angela Berti (UCSD), Head Steward
Davide Carpano (UCSD), Recording Secretary
Miguel Angel Castañeda (UCSD), Head Steward
Raul Herrera (UCSD), Unit Chair
América Martínez (UCSD), Head Steward
Raquel Pacheco (UCSD), Head Steward
Jonathan D. Paden (UCSD), Head Steward
Tara Pixley (UCSD), Head Steward
Hosam Yousif (UCSD), Head Steward
Aaron Alvarado (UCR), Head Steward
Theresa Goldbach (UCR), Head Steward
Mackenzie Gregg (UCR), Head Steward
Stephanie Miller (UCR), Head Steward
Frank Perez (UCR), Head Steward
David Chávez (UCR), Campus Recording Secretary
J Sebastian (UCR), Campus Chair
Christina Acosta (UCM), Campus Recording Secretary
Rodolfo Rodriguez (UCM), Campus Chair
Michael Z. Dean (UCLA), Head Steward
Jeffrey Dymond (UCLA), Head Steward
Spencer Frei (UCLA), Head Steward
Devaka Gunawardena (UCLA), Head Steward
Melissa Melpignano (UCLA), Head Steward
Marissa Ochsner (UCLA), Head Steward
Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò (UCLA), Head Steward
Alli Carlisle (UCLA), Campus Recording Secretary
Jonathan Koch (UCLA), Campus Chair
Richard C. Prince (UCI), Head Steward
Forest Agostinelli (UCI), Head Steward
Kat Cosby (UCI), Head Steward
Kurt Horner (UCI), Head Steward
Kevin Kadowaki (UCI), Head Steward
Francisco Ilabaca (UCI), Campus Recording Secretary
Anandi Rao (UCI), Campus Chair
Abbey Berghaus (UCD), Head Steward
Emily Breuninger (UCD), Head Steward
Michael Culshaw-Maurer (UCD), Head Steward
Jeanelle K. Hope (UCD), Head Steward
Amara Miller (UCD), Head Steward
Marcelle Obeid (UCD), Head Steward
Savannah Hunter (UCD), Campus Recording Secretary
Gabi Kirk (UCD), Campus Chair
Caroline Lemak Brickman (UCB), Head Steward
Alex Bush (UCB), Head Steward
Beezer de Martelly (UCB), Head Steward
Julia Havard (UCB), Head Steward
Kavitha Iyengar (UCB), Head Steward
René Espinoza Kissell (UCB), Head Steward
Juliet Rose Kunkel (UCB), Head Steward
Robbie Nelson (UCB), Head Steward
Eric Peterson (UCB), Head Steward
Kathleen Powers (UCB), Head Steward
Michaeljit Sandhu (UCB), Head Steward
Mick Song (UCB), Head Steward
Thornton Thompson (UCB), Head Steward
Joe Winer (UCB), Head Steward
Garrett Shishido Strain (UCB), Campus Recording Secretary
Maggie Downey (UCB), Campus Chair
Violet Barton (UCM), Guide, Executive Board
Iris Blake (UCR), Southern VP, Executive Board
Harya (“Koko”) Dillon (UCI), Recording Secretary, Executive Board
Connor Gorman (UCD), Trustee, Executive Board
Erin Greer (UCB), Northern Vice President, Executive Board
Jesse Halvorsen (UCSB), Financial Secretary, Executive Board
Shannon Ikebe (UCB), Trustee, Executive Board
Mary Schmitt (UCI), Sergeant at Arms, Executive Board
Michael (“Mick”) Song (UCB), Trustee
Emily Yen (UCLA), President, Executive Board


Victory! SB 201 Passes- Grad Research Assistants eligible to unionize!

After a dynamic, multi-year struggle led by student-workers, UC Research Assistants won the legal right to join our union and collectively determine their working conditions!   Just before midnight on Sunday, October 15, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 201 into law. This bill, authored by State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), extends collective bargaining rights to Research Assistants (RAs) in California public higher education systems, establishing parity with thousands of RAs and Teaching Assistants across the country who already enjoy this right.  Please  contact us if you are interested in becoming involved in our campaign to bring UC Research Assistants into our Local.

Congratulations and thank you to all of the student-workers who lobbied in Sacramento, signed petitions, filled out surveys, and organized to get this bill passed. Many thanks also to our sister locals, UAW 5810 (UC Postdocs) and UAW 4123 (CSU Student-Workers), who collaborated in this effort, as well as to our bill’s sponsor, Senator Nancy Skinner. As a graduate student, Senator Skinner was one of the activists responsible for the creation of UAW 2865 in the first place!

The passage of this bill is a turning point in a long journey. The UC has fought against RA collective bargaining rights for 35 years. Five years ago, Governor Brown vetoed similar legislation, caving to the UC administration’s fierce opposition to labor rights. This time, however, Governor Brown did the right thing, affirming that Research Assistants are employees who deserve the same protections against overwork, discrimination, harassment, etc., as every other employee.

While this phase of the campaign is over, the fight is just beginning. Now the real work of organizing our colleagues who work as Research Assistants/GSRs begins. If you would like to get involved, or you know RAs/GSRs on your campus who would be interested in our campaign, please contact us. Please also be in touch if you receive communication from the UC administration or your supervisors about this legislation.


The UAW 2865 RA Committee

UAW 2865- UC Student Workers Union: Joint Council Statement on Charlottesville

Dear Members- please see below for the Joint Council‘s statement on Charlottesville. UAW 2865’s additional statements on events, positions, and information can be found on our website —

The Joint Coucil also voted to sign on to the Campus Anti-Fascist Network Solidarity with Charlottesville Statement.

UAW 2865 Santa Barbara (our campus unit) also made a statement regarding Charlottesville- which is available to read on this website.

UAW 2865: UC Student-Workers Union

Statement of Solidarity with Those Opposing Fascist Violence

The University of California Student-Worker Union UAW 2865–which represents 16,000 Teaching Assistants, Readers, and Tutors–strongly opposes the violence that occurred at the Unite the Right Rally on August 12, 2017 at University of Virginia, Charlottesville. This rally, organized by many groups of fascists and white supremacists, culminated in the devastating death of anti-fascist demonstrator Heather Heyer, the beating of Deandre Harris and the targeting of other Black anti-fascists, and bodily harm to dozens of others demonstrating against the spread of hate. We recognize that this was not the first act of deadly or brutal violence at the hands of white supremacists, and we mourn the loss and harm of our comrades in this deepening struggle.

Contrary to its stated message, we do not recognize the violence in Charlottesville as protected speech, a unity rally, or a peaceful gathering. Rather, it was premeditated — an event premised on organized violence executed by self-trained paramilitary that deployed fascist slogans, Nazi propaganda, and US-based white supremacist symbols and physical attacks against students, community members, and others who oppose their anti-democratic, violent practices. We consider the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which was erected during the Jim Crow era, and any opposition to its removal, as embodiment of toxic power, dominance, and authority based in fascist, racial, and domestic terrorism. The terror in Charlottesville, and indeed what is happening internationally, stems from a long history of investment in white supremacy and its attendant fiction of racial purity. We condemn the anti-Black, racist, misogynist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, Islamophobic, and xenophobic sentiments that anchor these hateful groups.
Further, we move in solidarity with the counter-protesters, unionists, students, and community members organizing against these forces and for a more democratic, just, and anti-oppressive world. As part of our work to fight for basic rights, we recognize the important roles that unions can and have played in anti-fascist, anti-racist, and anti-imperial struggles. In our own work, we acknowledge the interconnections between capitalist exploitation, policing and militarism, and racial violence. The task of building anti-racist worker power that resists these practices is and must be a central objective for our movement. As a member-led union across nine teaching campuses–San Diego, Irvine, Riverside, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Merced, Davis, Santa Cruz, and Berkeley–we strive to hold each other accountable to this collective labor as core to our work to create just working and living conditions, for ourselves and our communities.

As we shared in our union’s J20 Statement: “We are a broad and diverse union committed to social justice that works to unite and center the needs and demands of many communities, including immigrants, refugees, undocumented folks, workers, Muslims, Jews, poor people, indigenous folks, queer and trans folks, Black folks, Chicanx/Latinx folks, Asian and Pacific Islander folks, women, survivors of sexual violence, labor activists, people with disabilities, public education activists, civil rights activists, and many others. In these troubling times, we reiterate that an injury to one is an injury to us all.”

In this moment, we are reaching out to all of our members, particularly those who are targets of fascist and white supremacist violence, to affirm that you are valuable. As we move forward in our collective work to build a world free of oppression and hate, we also center the need to take care of ourselves and each other so that we may grow stronger together.

In Solidarity,
UAW 2865 Joint Council




UAW 2865 UCSB: UC Student-Worker Union Statement on Charlottesville

UAW 2865 UCSB: UC Student-Worker Union Statement on Charlottesville

Opposition To UTF and Affirmation of Democracy

UAW 2865 UCSB– UC Student Worker Union opposes the violence and terrorism led and endorsed by the white supremacists (including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white nationalist, alt-right and fascist groups) participating and endorsing the Unite the Right Rally held at UVa- Charlottesville.

We are in solidarity with the counter-protesters, unions, students, and community members marching in favor of democracy and inclusion that affirm our anti-oppression statements and goals[1] that use intersectional approaches, as rooted in radical union histories, Radical Black Feminist Thought, and the important contributions by QTPOC.

Unions have an important role in democratic practices, including free speech and the right to association, including at the UC. UAW 2865[2] is a member-led union that supports freedom to assemble, freedom of the press, among other rights that provide constitutional rights to unionization.

Our 9 campuses (University of California at: Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Davis, Merced, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Riverside, Irvine, and San Diego) — each have worker-student led movements and events to affirm better working conditions, institutional accountability, civil rights, and pursuits of justice as interconnected.

This white supremacist rally is not a free speech event or a peaceful gathering: it is an organized and preplanned violent event using fascist slogans, Nazi propaganda, KKK and US based white supremacists, to attack students, community members, and those who oppose their anti-democratic practices to assert power, dominance and authority and violate the rights of others using violence. This event is being falsely portrayed as a unity rally rather than a planned march of violence and intimidation.

The violence and terrorism culminated in the murder of 3 people, including Heather Hayes, beating of Deandre Harris, stroke of Tyler Magill (UVa-Charlottesville staff/ librarian) after being hit with a tiki torch, and injury and violence to many others.

This violent rally is aimed at re-institutionalizing the ideals of the confederacy and KKK by defending the Lee statue as a material symbol and erected by KKK leaders, that includes slogans, signs, and statements that endorse: anti-Blackness, misogyny, anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, disabilities, and xenophobia to name a few modes of oppression expressed and enacted at this violent event.

These are not just ideas being shared; these are ideas in action aimed to scare and promote violence against students and community members using intimidation, weapons, and violence in the guise of the right to peaceful assembly.

It is these violent actions, and connections with their ideas and speech, being enacted that we oppose as anti-democratic and fascist.

Our criticism and denouncing the violence by the organizers, members, followers, and supporters of this violent rally is not censorship: we are utilizing our free speech and right to association as a union to defend democratic and inclusive ideals.

This is what the late Professor Herbert Marcuse (UC-Davis) deemed repressive tolerance: the guise of free speech to utilize violence and repression[3].

UAW 2865 UCSB: UC Student-Workers Union stands in affirmation of democracy, unions, community, and engaging in constitutionally protected activities.

Summer Updates — copy of email sent 8/7/17

See below for a copy of an email sent to members on 8/7/17 with updates

Dear Members,

We hope you all are having productive and some fun this summer.

Here are some updates from your union – UAW 2865 UCSB- UC Student Workers Union for this summer- with details below.

1)   Parking Updates: more good news!

2)   Family Student Housing- Parking, Health and Safety Concerns

3)   2018 Contract Campaign + Bargaining Survey

4)   RA Campaign with SB 201

5)   Orientation Reminders- Tuesday, September 26th

6)   Resource and Information with Queer + Trans Health at UCSB

As always, we are a confidential resource to learn about your rights, information on childcare reimbursement, get information and assistance using either information or formal resolution (grievance) options per our contract: or you can reach out to any elected leader individually.


1)   Parking Updates: GS Pass

UAW 2865 had a meeting with Labor Relations and TPS: it has been confirmed that there are NO plans to change the GS pass in the future- including being able to park in lot 10, and our continued access to B/ Staff lots has been promised.

Information on the GS Pass, and reserving parking for guest speakers is on their website.

Again, thank you to all of the members who signed the petition, came to our town hall, and emailed us information!

2)   Family Student Housing Concerns

UAW 2865 met with Labor Relations last week and is working with the UCSB Family and Student Tenants Union to meet with FSH leadership and Labor Relations to discuss the punitive parking changes with the 2nd car fee and reduction in visitor passes, as well as the health and safety concerns that have been shared with us.

There is a petition for those living in FSH to share feedback and concerns

Thank you to those who have gotten in touch with as, attended the town hall, and emailed us information- we are continuing to push for a resolution.


3) 2018 Contract Campaign

We have copies of our bargaining survey and organizers will be around this summer and fall to get input about member priorities, feedback, and input. An online version will be available soon.

Our contract bargaining starts January 15, 2018 before our current contract expires June 30, 2018.

We will hold town halls to share information and get feedback during the Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters: dates and locations TBA

Our campus will be represented in the formal contract negotiations by Hannah Kagan-Moore (Recording Secretary, Art History + Architecture) + Meg Unden (Unit Chair, Sociology).

Each campus has 2 elected representatives (recording secretary and unit chair) to work together to get an improved contract with membership feedback from the surveys and town halls. This team negotiates the new contract with UCOP/ Labor Relations, and must ratified and voted on by all members before being official.

** Please note: to vote on our contract, strikes, elections, run for office, or hold a union job- you must sign a membership card: we can get you one if you email us and bring it to you on campus **


4)RA / GSR Campaign

SB 201- the legislative bill to allow GSRs unionize is continuing to make good progress, and our campus participated in Lobby Day on July 17th.

We are continuing to ask everyone who is, has, or will work as a GSR to take the pledge and survey.

We will hold town halls to share updates and get feedback/ input, especially on STEM needs, during the Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters. Dates and locations TBA


5)   Orientation Reminders

Fall Orientation will be Tuesday, September 25th- UAW 2865 UCSB will host a break out session to share information on our rights and benefits, as well as a 30 minute meeting from 12:30 – 1:00 PM in Campbell Hall.

We are also able to send elected leadership or an organizer to your department orientation or Department Grad Student Association meeting to share information, get feedback, and assist with any questions and concerns. All you need to do is email us a date, time, and location for your request:


6)   Queer and Trans Health at UCSB

This is a new office/ resource to support Queer and Trans Health at UCSB.

Han Koehle (they/them) is the new staff member to contact:

In Spring 2017, students came together to ask the UCSB administration to provide quality healthcare for all students regardless of gender identity, expression, or sexuality. The office of the Queer & Trans Health Advisor was launched as part of that initiative. This student-focused resource exists to foster an affirming environment and promote total health for LGBTQIA students at UCSB. The Queer & Trans Health advisor develops patient-centered policy regarding sexuality and gender diversity, acts as a liaison between LGBTQIA students and Student Health, and provides individual patient advocacy, including:

• Connecting students with affirming and informed clinicians
• Accompanying patients to appointments
• Providing general information on queer & trans health
• Acting as a point of contact for student complaints regarding LGBTQIA care problems and helping to facilitate appropriate solutions
• Increasing transparency for students

Visit us at Student Health (blue hallway, 1714), call at 893-2535, or email–or send a message through Facebook!

NEW: Change your preferred name, pronouns and gender identity in the confidential Student Health records! Log in to our Gateway portal and choose “Profile” from the left menu list. Once on this page you can edit any of the above information

As a reminder: our contract gives us the right to access gender-neutral/ ADA compliant restrooms: if you do not currently have access you can fill out the following form or email us for assistance.

Thank you!

In Solidarity,

UAW 2865 UCSB- UC Student Workers Union

Meg Undén (Sociology/ Campus Chair)

Hannah Kagan-Moore (History of Art & Architecture/ Recording Secretary)

Emily Ellis (Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology/ Head Steward)

Dell Rose (Religious Studies/ Head Steward)

Avi McClelland-Cohen (Communication / Head Steward)

Andrew Elrod (History/ Head Steward)

Sarp Kurgan (Global Studies/ Head Steward)



We got parking back!!! Town Hall on July 6 from 3-4 PM GSA Lounge

Please see below for an email sent on June 30, 2017! #uaw2865 #unionsmatter #collectiveaction

Dear Members,

UAW 2865 UCSB has just gotten confirmation from labor relations that our parking has been restored! They will continue to issue GS passes, but these will be treated as the equivalent as staff/ B passes – so you will have the same parking access.

TPS will providing an email update shortly, and will also communicate this on their website.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the survey, signed the petition, sent examples of syllabi and ASE contracts, and come to our town hall. Our collective discussions convinced labor relations and parking to continue our lot b access.

We will have another follow up meeting with them as there will be studies for campus parking to share feedback and concerns that you all have provided. We will also still have our town hall to discuss follow up plans to ensure this does not happen again and share updates on the RA campaign (SB 201 is looking like it will become law).

Town Hall – Thursday, July 6 from 3-4 PM in the GSA Lounge.

In Solidarity,

Meg Undén (Sociology/ Campus Chair)

Hannah Kagan-Moore (History of Art & Architecture/ Recording Secretary)

Emily Ellis (Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology/ Head Steward)

Dell Rose (Religious Studies/ Head Steward)

Avi McClelland-Cohen (Communication / Head Steward)

Andrew Elrod (History/ Head Steward)

Sarp Kurgan (Global Studies/ Head Steward)