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Labor Activity Updates - Spring 2024

Last Updated: June 4, 2024

This page is intended to provide information about the labor activity initiated by the UAW Local 4811 in spring 2024. 

June 7: Court Orders UAW Strike to End Across UC Campuses

A Superior Court judge today granted a temporary restraining order to the University of California, temporarily halting the illegal systemwide strike by UAW-represented employees across campuses.

The action comes after UC filed a lawsuit and requested injunctive relief Tuesday against UAW for breach of contract. UC and UAW have collective bargaining agreements that each have no-strike clauses. UAW-represented UC employees began striking on May 20 at UC Santa Cruz and the strike has expanded to six of the 10 systemwide campuses.

“We are extremely grateful for a pause in this strike so our students can complete their academic studies. The strike would have caused irreversible setbacks to students’ academic achievements and may have stalled critical research projects in the final quarter,” said Melissa Matella, associate vice president for Systemwide Labor Relations.

“From the beginning, we have stated this strike was illegal and a violation of our contracts’ mutually agreed upon no-strike clauses,” Matella added. “We respect the advocacy and progressive action towards issues that matter to our community and our community’s right to engage in lawful free speech activities — activities that continue to occur across the system. However, UAW’s strike is unrelated to employment terms, violates the parties’ agreements, and runs contrary to established labor principles.”

While this is an important victory critical to support student success, the University will continue to pursue its legal claims in state court and PERB to protect labor peace across the system.

Media Contact:

On May 31, 2024, the UAW announced that UAW-represented workers at UC San Diego would strike on June 3, 2024.

This announcement follows the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) voting to authorize a work stoppage or strike after a three-day vote, from May 13-15, 2024. The units represented consist of Postdoctoral Scholars, Academic Researchers, Academic Student Employees (ASEs - TAs/Readers/Tutors), and Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs, including some graduate students on training grants and external fellowships).

This vote was held after the union filed an Unfair Labor Practice against UCLA with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) on May 3, and amended those charges to include UC San Diego and UC Irvine on May 10, 2024. On May 16, 2024, the UAW Local 4811 announced that workers as UC Santa Cruz would strike on Monday May 20, 2024. On May 17, 2024, the UAW further amended their charges. 

The University of California filed an Unfair Labor Practice with PERB against the UAW 4811 on May 17, 2024, asking the state to order members to cease and desist strike activity. The University of California filed an amended request for injunctive relief on May 29, asking the state Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to have a court rule to end the UAW strike across UC campuses immediately. A decision on that request has not yet been announced. 

The below subsections contain strike-related resources and correspondence from leadership with additional FAQs provided below. If you have particular questions not addressed here, you can email them to

Labor activity news, including information on the University’s position on the UAW’s strike, is available at on the UC UAW news and updates webpage.   

The UC San Diego Principles of Community remind us to maintain the fairness, cooperation, and professionalism that will foster the best possible working and learning environment, even in times of disagreement. UC San Diego affirms each individual's right to dignity and freedom of expression. May we jointly sustain a climate of justice marked by mutual respect that will support our common academic mission.

We recognize that additional guidance will be required as the situation develops on our campus and ask that you please check this page regularly as it will continue to be updated.

Leadership Correspondence

Educational Continuity

Q: What impacts to instruction are anticipated?

A: We anticipate a period of unknown duration where some of these workers will not fulfill their job duties. These duties include but are not limited to: teaching lectures, labs, and discussion sections; grading submitted work and entering/maintaining grades; tutoring; supplemental instruction; research; outreach; program administration; and other duties assigned.

Q: What is expected of chairs, faculty members, and other instructors?

A: Department chairs are responsible for working with college/school leadership and educators to ensure instructional and research continuity. Chairs should work with instructors who need support or guidance in implementing continuity plans. Faculty members and other instructors should maintain instructional activities for all students. While the strike is ongoing, class sessions, examinations, and other academic activities are still continuing and the university expects that academic work will be completed.

We understand that this situation is challenging and requires many to make difficult decisions. We greatly appreciate your resiliency and dedication to student learning during this time.

Q: What should our school be doing to prepare?

A: Faculty should work with Deans and Chairs to develop an action plan to ensure that the educational program for all students continues. For example, you can plan to provide special academic advising office hours and suggest to students that they can follow readings in course syllabus even if some class meetings do not occur.

Q: What should an instructor of record do at this time?

A: If you currently supervise one or more ASEs (TAs/Readers/Tutors) in an instructional setting, please plan ahead for the possibility of a strike. The specific actions you take will depend on different circumstances, but may include the following:

  • Notify your students of the possibility of a strike, how they could be impacted, and steps you will take in the event of a strike. Courses should not be canceled because of the strike.
  • Identify any aspects of the course that may be postponed, abbreviated, or omitted, and revise your lesson planning and grading rubric accordingly. Consider engaging your students in making these revisions and be transparent and reasonable with your new expectations.
  • Maintain clear and frequent communication with your students. Remind them that you will be the main point of contact during the strike, and ensure they know how to reach you.
  • Focus on maintaining course continuity. Among these priorities should be preserving each student’s access to the course and materials.
  • Examine the work currently being done by each ASE to understand its stage, how it might be disrupted, and the specific steps you can take to mitigate disruption if it happens.
  • Ensure you have access to ASE lesson plans, student grades, graded materials, and submitted work that has not yet been graded.
  • If grading will be delayed, ask students in your course to maintain copies of submitted work and post timely sample solutions for them to review.

Q: How do I prepare for a work stoppage impacting my course?

A: (1) Ensure that you have up-to-date access to all course materials and grade data for your courses in Canvas.
(2) Backup gradebooks and take steps to ensure continuity and accuracy.

Q: May I ask who intends to walk out in support of the labor action?

A: No. It is not appropriate to ask anyone if they will be participating. Commenting on participation in the strike can be construed as interference or retaliation.

Q: What should I do if there are disruptions in the class/students feel intimidated coming to class/crossing a picket line?

A: We expect striking students to exercise their rights within the limits established by the law. Picket lines should not disrupt entry and egress from buildings or classrooms, and there should be no intimidation on either side. If these expectations are violated, please contact Labor Relations at

Q: Can we shift classes online for the duration of a strike?

A: Senate policy allows any course to be taught up to (but not exceeding) 50% remotely without prior senate approval. As long as your class complies with this Senate policy you can teach remotely during this time. Make sure to communicate any modality changes to all students in a timely manner.

Q: What resources are available to instructors who may need assistance maintaining the continuity of instruction?

A: The Teaching and Learning Commons is available to support educational continuity.

Q: What about graduate courses?

A: Graduate instruction should continue. Graduate students are students regardless of their employment status with the university and should continue to participate in university educational activities associated with their respective programs of study during the strike. Graduate classes and the evaluation of graduate student academic progress for grades and credit should continue as normal.

Q: Can I expect graduate students to complete coursework, including independent study?

A: Students enrolled in courses, independent study or otherwise, should continue to do the activities associated with those courses and be graded in response to their academic progress regardless of employment or strike participation. Faculty may still communicate with striking students regarding academic activities associated with the courses in which those students are enrolled.

Q: Am I required/expected to/allowed to make accommodations for students engaged in strike activities?

A: You are not required to make accommodations for such activities, but you may do so if you wish. Keep in mind that any such accommodations should be communicated clearly, and should be applied consistently (e.g., students who are not covered by bargaining agreement or who chose not to strike should not be adversely affected). Non-striking students may be counting on completing planned assignments to boost their grades, so (as always) think through the potential impacts of canceling or modifying assignments.

Q: Can we give U grades for 299 courses if students completely stop research activities?

A: 299 courses have flexible units (1-12) associated with S/U grades; this represents the academic value of the research graduate students conduct as a requirement for their degree.

The research work performed by graduate students employed as GSRs typically has a lot of overlap with the work they need to perform to receive a satisfactory grade in their research units. A GSR not engaging in research work because of the strike might not make academic progress in their 299 units during that time.

Assessment and grading are a faculty prerogative. The assessment of student performance in any course must only be based on academic criteria that are consistently applied to all students.

Q: How might the strike potentially impact international employees? 

A: Please contact the International Services and Engagement Office (ISEO) ( with any questions.  

Q: Have there been any updates from the Academic Senate, San Diego Division? 

A: The Academic Senate sent a message to Academic Senate faculty on May 16, 2024. A link to the message can be found under Leadership Correspondence.

Research Continuity

Research facilities do not need to cease operations, but will need to adjust workflow in light of potential work stoppage.

Principal investigators (PIs) and research group leads should plan alternate workflows in the event that Graduate Student Researchers, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Academic Researchers do not appear at scheduled work times.

And, as always, we need to work together to protect the safety and integrity of our research and lab spaces and those working there.

Research spaces may contain hazardous chemicals, biological agents, and equipment. Safety practices and protocols in research spaces must adhere to applicable federal, state, and university rules. Anyone who enters a laboratory or other research space must follow all safety practices and protocols, including mandatory training, use of protective equipment, and appropriate interaction with any research substances or equipment.

Please lock doors and restrict access so that only those with approved research-related access are in the research space.

If there is a concern about the safety of anyone in a research area, please ask those individuals to leave and follow the usual protocols to notify the lab’s safety officer or principal investigator. If concerns persist, Labor Relations may be contacted at

General Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a strike?

A: It is important for everyone to understand the differences between a strike and other protected activity in support of striking employees.

A strike is a work stoppage. This means that an employee has decided to stop working and performing their job duties in support of a particular cause or issue. Because the employee is not working and performing their job duties, they are generally not eligible for wages that are paid in exchange for work performed.

“Supporting” a strike is different. It means that individuals who either are not employees, or are employees but not on working time (such as before or after work, on breaks, or on their non-work days) may lawfully engage in demonstrations and other similar protected activity, so long as such activity is lawful, non-violent, and otherwise adheres to University policies and applicable collective-bargaining agreements.

In light of these definitions, please be aware that:

  • University employees who are part of a bargaining-unit covered by an active collective-bargaining agreement containing a no-strike clause may not strike in violation of the contract. Those who do so may be subject to appropriate action pursuant to the terms of those agreements and University policy.
  • All members of the University community, whether or not they are employees, are free to support or oppose a strike, so long as their activity is lawful, non-violent, and otherwise adheres to University policies.

Q: Which workers could go on strike?

A: Workers in four bargaining units represented by the UAW:

  1. Academic Student Employees (ASEs) (Teaching Assistants (TAs)/Associates, Readers, Tutors);
  2. Postdoctoral Scholars;
  3. Academic Researchers (Specialists, Project Scientists, Research Scientists and
  4. Graduate Student Researchers (including some on training grants and external fellowships).

Q: What impacts are anticipated?

A: We anticipate a period of unknown duration where some of these workers will not fulfill their job duties. These duties include but are not limited to: teaching lectures, labs, and discussion sections; grading submitted work and entering/maintaining grades; tutoring; supplemental instruction; research; outreach; program administration; and other duties assigned.

Q: Are there any guidelines on what is or isn’t permissible as a supervisor/manager?

Permissible Actions

Impermissible Actions to Avoid

Do take lawful steps to ensure safety and security at University campuses and properties. Report misconduct or threats to safety and security.

Do call Labor Relations if you observe obstructed entrances or exits.

Do take lawful steps to ensure continuity of operations. Do plan for potential disruption of ongoing research as a result of a strike. Plans for the preservation of experimental materials and the like must be carefully prepared.

Do refer employees to their union if they have questions regarding union membership, union activities, and potential strike activity.

Do plan for supporting student academic progress, including alternate methods of instructional delivery and educational continuity.

Do stay in close contact with your local Labor Relations and Academic Personnel offices and promptly report threats to safety and security, violence, or other misconduct or dangerous circumstances.

Do not photograph, video, or generally “monitor” employees striking activity for reasons unrelated to ensuring safety, security, and access. This includes refraining from monitoring or perusing employees’ social media.

Do not survey or communicate with employees, including Senate Faculty, Unit 18 faculty, UAW unit members, and other employees, regarding their intention to participate in or support a strike. Such communication can be found to violate employee rights.

Do not make statements to employees intended to elicit a response concerning their union activity or union sympathies.

Avoid tweets and comments on social media (encouraging or discouraging employees’ protected activities, including strike activity) which purport to be official statements on behalf of the University.

Do not ask employees about their protected activities, their union sympathies nor the protected activities/union sympathies of others. Protected activity includes strikes and protests concerning terms and conditions of employment or bargaining.

Do not discipline, discharge, reprimand, or otherwise take adverse action against employees for protected activity, including lawful strike activity.

Do not deal directly, solicit grievances, or make promises to employees, including Senate and Unit 18 faculty and student employees, based on their participation/non-participation in, or support/non-support, for a strike.

Q: How long is the work stoppage expected to continue?

A: We are unable to predict the duration of the work stoppage. 

Q: Can I ask any of these workers about their intentions to strike?

A: No. Do not discuss the potential strike action, or ask others about plans to participate.

Q: Will workers who participate in a strike be paid?

A: No. We value our employees and fully respect represented employees’ right to engage in protected activity, including a lawful strike. However, since striking employees are, by definition, not working, they are not eligible to receive their regular pay. Additionally, federal guidelines indicate that we are not able to pay employees on federal grants if they are not working. Employees who wish to receive their regular pay, may perform their work during this time.

It is essential that departments accurately record employee absences. Both authorized and unauthorized absences, including those absences when work is withheld as part of a strike or protest, need to be recorded in Ecotime. In addition to reporting absences (also called “leave reporting”), please note that accurate effort reporting on sponsored research awards is a federal and university requirement; personnel expenses may only be charged to sponsored research awards for work actually performed. 

All supervisors have access to Ecotime and should view and approve or disapprove leaves for their employees. If you are a PI with Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs), postdocs, and/or academic researchers, you are a supervisor. If you are an Instructor on Record (IOR) with Academic Student Employees (ASEs, e.g., TA, tutor, or reader), you are also a supervisor. It is important as a supervisor to properly record all absences of your employees. Instructors of Record and Principal Investigators should contact their Office of Labor Relations or Academic Personnel if they have questions.

Q: How does someone log into and approve leave in Ecotime? 

A: Log into and use the two-step DUO login process. Once logged in, click the applicable Employee or Manager tasks tab, then Timesheets, select Pay Period and click go to see the your timesheet, or your employee's timesheet, to be able to view, enter, or approve their leave reporting, as applicable to your role. 

Q: What if I have a problem logging in, seeing timesheets, etc.?

A: Links to guidance on how to use Ecotime can be found on the Ecotime Blink page. Information included on these pages includes how to return a timesheet to be corrected when leave time was reported incorrectly, and so on. 

Q: What if an employee does not report leave, but they were absent and withheld work?

A: If a supervisor is aware of an unreported unauthorized leave, they or their delegate should record that entry for the employee. The Ecotime Blink page includes additional information on timesheet corrections. 

Q: What if I have Ecotime questions?

A: Office hours for Ecotime users will be offered. To attend office hours, please see the next times available on the Center for Operational Excellence webpage

For more information, please email