UC Santa Cruz grad college students strike for increased pay, saying they can not afford lease

A minimum of 17 folks have been arrested this week and picketing continued Friday as a part of a wildcat strike by UC Santa Cruz graduate pupil employees who’re demanding increased pay as a result of they’re overburdened by excessive housing prices.

In the course of the strike, which started Monday, graduate pupil employees have refused to show, maintain workplace hours, conduct analysis or publish grades. They’re demanding a rise in pay of $1,412 monthly to cowl their lease.

The common educating assistant’s month-to-month wage is $2,400 a month. The common lease for a one-bedroom house in Santa Cruz is $2,600 a month, in keeping with RentCafe.

Demonstrations have been held on the faculty’s principal entrance Friday, though nobody has been arrested since Wednesday, mentioned UC Santa Cruz spokesman Scott Hernandez-Jason.

The arrests got here after police mentioned college students blocked an intersection close to campus and ignored repeated orders to disperse. Police surrounded demonstrators sitting in circles within the intersection with their arms linked and dragged them away one after the other.

These arrested face costs together with illegal meeting, obstructing a public roadway and disobeying a lawful order, Hernandez-Jason mentioned. All however one have been cited and launched.

“Officers repeatedly tried to de-escalate the scenario and made clear that blocking this main roadway needed to cease or it could result in arrest,” Hernandez-Jason mentioned in an announcement. “Demonstrators locked arms, sat within the roadway, and refused to maneuver again onto the college discipline.”

“Whereas we perceive the frustration about housing prices in Santa Cruz, we even have obligations to the overwhelming majority of our school, workers and college students who merely wish to do what they got here to UC Santa Cruz to do — to review, to show, and conduct analysis,” an announcement from college mentioned.

This week’s motion follows a grading strike the scholars undertook in December.

The strike is a so-called wildcat strike, which suggests it’s not endorsed by the union that represents the scholars. The UC system has a present labor contract with the United Auto Employees that covers all campuses.

Jack Davies, a second-year graduate pupil within the historical past of consciousness division and organizer of the graduate college students, mentioned roughly 350 college students, together with at the very least 200 educating assistants, have been collaborating within the strike.

Davies mentioned police — together with campus police and others from close by San Francisco and Alameda — confronted off in opposition to strikers. He mentioned helmeted officers carrying batons and tear fuel struck one pupil, who suffered a concussion, on Monday. On Wednesday one other pupil sustained a concussion and a number of other others had bruises, Davies mentioned.

The college spokesman mentioned that anybody with a grievance about police conduct can submit a web based report that the division will overview.

“Over the previous 4 days, our officers have been persistently speaking with these collaborating on this unsanctioned strike,” Hernandez-Jason mentioned. “The police division is dedicated to a person’s lawful train of free speech, and officers have solely intervened when there was a possible violation of legislation and/or a danger to the general public’s security. We’re conscious of many unsubstantiated rumors being unfold on social media.”

In November 2011 college police at UC Davis pepper-sprayed a group of students protesting on campus as a part of the Occupy motion. A video of the incident went viral and sparked outrage over using the irritant on campus.

The Related Press contributed to this report.