In this week's Chemical and Engineering News, this update from Andrea Widener:
Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers at all 10 University of California (UC) campuses are on strike, a move that is impacting many chemists and chemistry departments.
The strike, which began Nov. 14, is over alleged unfair labor practices by UC, which the union representing the students and postdocs says is not negotiating new contracts in good faith. The larger issues underlying the contract negotiations center on wages and benefits for UC’s graduate students, teaching assistants, postdocs, and academic researchers, who fuel much of the UC system’s research and teaching. The union, the United Auto Workers, represents 48,000 academic workers on the campuses, making the strike the largest in higher education in US history.
“Clearly, 48,000 people across the state are really fired up about this,” says Khalid Mahmood, a chemistry graduate student at UC Berkeley.
Mahmood, who lives with six roommates, says that 40% of his income goes toward rent. In addition, there is little consistency in salary between departments or even from semester to semester. “We really care about our research, but we want the contributions that we make to the university to be reflected in our compensation,” he says...
Six roommates! That sounds awful.