In the largest strike of 2022, some 48,000 teaching assistants, postdocs, researchers, and graders at California’s prestigious public university system went on strike Monday, seeking more pay and child-care benefits.

Iran PressAmerica: They are seeking a minimum annual salary of $54,000 and increased child-care benefits, saying they do not earn enough to live in the state. 

They also accuse the university of not bargaining in good faith with their union, the United Auto Workers.

“At every turn, the university has sought to act unlawfully at the bargaining table, which is preventing us from reaching an agreement,” said Neal Sweeney, the president of UAW Local 5810, which represents more than 11,000 UC postdocs and academic researchers.

The University of California strike is also the largest academic strike in higher education in US history, according to the UAW.

The bargaining units that represent UC academic workers said university leadership has illegally made changes to pay and transit benefits without consulting the union. They also alleged that the university has refused to provide necessary information about who is in the bargaining unit and has otherwise obstructed the bargaining process. Negotiations have been underway for more than a year.

University officials denied allegations that their negotiators have broken the law during bargaining. They said they had made good-faith efforts to bargain as shown by a number of tentative agreements the parties have already reached.

The strike threatens to disrupt classes, research and grading ahead of final exams at the UC system’s 10 campuses.