Navigating impacts of potential strike
Navigating impacts of potential strike
Dear Student: 
As you might have heard, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union notified the University that academic employees in four collective bargaining units (union groups) intend to strike beginning on Monday, November 14. These units are comprised of employees in specific jobs on campus, such as graduate teaching assistants, postdoctoral scholars, academic researchers, graduate student researchers, and other academic student employees.
The University of California, and UCSB specifically, has a long tradition of respecting freedom of speech and expression and recognizes and supports the legal right of represented employees to participate in lawful strike activities.
The purpose of this message is to provide information and resources for undergraduate students to help you navigate your courses and access student services during this potential strike.
Note: The negotiations currently taking place are between the UC system and the UAW. UCSB cannot independently resolve these negotiations, and any strike action will occur on all ten UC campuses. While it is beyond the scope of this message, please refer to the UC "Information about UC-UAW negotiations and a UAW strike" website, if you are interested in additional context.
Key Terms
A strike is a work stoppage. During a strike, some employees choose to participate in picketing or other protest activity.
Picketing is the practice of gathering at worksite entrances and protesting. Lawful picketing does not obstruct entrances and is completely non-violent.
Protesting encompasses speech, signage, and other actions (for example, marching, chanting, noisemaking) to express disapproval or advocate for a cause.
Our campus is working diligently to minimize any disruptions to operations and to provide continuity of instruction, learning, research, and other operations. However, there may be some disruptions to what you may have known as usual and expected operations/classes and spaces on campus. The duties of the employees that may be on strike vary widely but often include leading discussion sections, holding office hours, and grading student work.
Faculty are working hard to maintain the continuity of teaching and learning in the event of a strike, and they are responsible for ensuring that you are able to progress toward the learning goals outlined for your courses and that you receive grades and course credit in a timely manner. Whether or not you wish to actively support the strike during this time, achieving the learning objectives of your courses should be your primary focus for the end of this quarter. Making sure you continue with your studies and your school work during these times will contribute to your academic success, and the strike should not distract you from continuing to work hard as we approach the end of the quarter.
If the strike occurs, some of your instructors may need to adjust class or assignment formats. For instance, you might be provided with a recorded video lecture in lieu of a discussion section or you might be provided with a revised set of assignments. The University has provided instructors  with an extensive set of resources that they can use as they make decisions about how to plan their courses in the event of a strike, including access to teaching and technological consulting services. 
Guidance for Undergraduate Students
  • Look for communications from the instructor leading your courses. If you have course-related questions or concerns, reach out to your instructor as soon as possible.

  • If you aren’t sure of the faculty member responsible for your course (because it is led by a graduate student teaching associate, for example), contact the course department chair, undergraduate advisor, or department office for additional information.

  • If you have DSP accommodations, please communicate them as soon as possible to your course instructors. Bring any concerns to their attention immediately to avoid unintentional oversights.

  • If you have special circumstances that might affect how you are impacted by or can participate in strike-related activities, please reach out to an appropriate resource, such as the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) or Undocumented Student Services.

  • As of this writing, final exams are expected to proceed as currently scheduled and the deadline for posting quarter grades (December 14, 2022) remains unchanged. Contact your instructors for more information.

  • Remember that, as always, a wide variety of student services and academic resources are available to support your success at UCSB. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

This is a difficult situation for our entire University community. I particularly appreciate how challenging it might be for you as a student – whether you are an undergraduate student navigating these changes amidst all of the other demands of the fall quarter or you are an academic student employee balancing your responsibilities as a student-employee. I thank you for your patience, adaptability, and kindness to one another if we must navigate the impacts of this strike. 
Dr. Margaret Klawunn
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
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