Letters to the Editor: In the UC strike, who's watching out for undergraduates?

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 28: University of California academic workers strike walking the picket line on the Campus of the University of California, Los Angeles on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA. As the nation's largest ever strike of higher-education academic workers enters its third week Monday, with the crunch time of final exams just days away, fears are rising over long-lasting and unintended consequences to the University of California's core missions of teaching and research. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Picket signs are propped against a wall at UCLA during the academic workers' strike. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I feel that amid this whole strike by academic workers at the University of California system, the plight of undergraduate students is being ignored. ("Chaos over grades, finals and ongoing classes erupts as UC strike continues," Nov. 29)

These are students who pay UC quite handsomely for an education that is now not being provided to them in any kind of acceptable manner.

Students who may not be able to pay for extra classes or semesters to make up for what is being lost.

Students whose careers and futures depend on what they are not learning right now.

And I'm sure no refunds or restitution will be given.

Leah Bishop, Guadalupe, Calif.


To the editor: Your article on the UC strike includes UC Berkeley chemistry professor Roger Cohen's claim that STEM workers earn between $38,000 and $43,000 annually for half-time work. This is misleading.

Graduate student researcher (GSR) contracts are technically for half time, but GSRs are expected to conduct full-time research for their advisor. This language of "half time" is an accounting trick to justify lower pay.

No GSR has enough time to take a second job on top of their "half-time" job, and if they only worked the 20 hours a week specified in the contract, they would be quickly kicked out of their lab.

Daniel Lazar, Seattle

The writer holds a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from UC Santa Barbara.


To the editor: Public employee unions should not be allowed to organize. The power dynamics are completely different from those in the private, corporate sector. Taxpayers, who do not have a seat at the bargaining table, get soaked.

The fact that the striking UC employees are represented by the United Auto Workers says it all, and not in a good way.

Ann Bowman, Santa Monica

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.