UC Santa Barbara graduate students began an indefinite strike last week to fight for a cost-of-living adjustment, and they were seen stationed all over the campus with signs Thursday.
Graduate students are asking for an additional $1,807.51 per month from the university, a number calculated from the average UCSB student’s rent burden.
According to UCSB 4 COLA, many of the college’s graduate students spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent. UCSB graduate students in subsidized university housing spend more than 30 percent of their wages on rent.
Rallies supporting a cost-of-living adjustment have drawn hundreds of supporters, including a march last week from the university’s Storke Tower to the Mosher Alumni House.
Striking graduate students at UCSB are withholding Winter Quarter 2020 grades, are not teaching, and are not holding sections. They said they will strike indefinitely unless the university meets their demands for a COLA or until they vote to end the strike in a graduate assembly.
They held their fifth day of strike Wednesday and had plans for a “blackout” strike on Thursday, calling for a full strike across all 10 UC campuses, according to a message from the organizers.
As of this week, every University of California campus has a cost-of-living adjustment movement for graduate students.
It started at UC Santa Cruz, an area with historically high rent prices, and graduate students there withheld Fall Quarter 2019 grades before they moved for a strike, which was not authorized by the graduate student teaching assistants’ union, UAW 2865.
Wednesday marked their 17th day on strike, and while on strike they have stopped teaching, grading or doing any work not related to their own degrees. They also blocked entrances to the UCSC campus in an effort to shut down the university. Last Friday, UCSC fired at least 54 of its graduate students for striking.