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March 25, 1999

To: The UCSC Community

From: M.R.C. Greenwood, Chancellor

Re: Upcoming vote on collective bargaining for teaching assistants

Based on its earlier decision that Teaching Assistants, Readers, and Tutors at UCLA are eligible for collective bargaining under state law, the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) today ordered elections at several UC campuses to determine whether or not graduate Teaching Assistants and other students in academic positions wish to be exclusively represented by affiliates of the United Auto Workers (UAW) for purposes of collective bargaining. As was the case at UCLA, where such an election took place earlier this month, the UC Office of the President will not oppose the PERB decision, and will respect the choice made by students at each campus.

The dates for the election at UC Santa Cruz are May 18 and 19, and the count of votes will be June 16.

As you know from my previous statements, I am personally committed to working with graduate students and others, within whatever context we find ourselves, to ensure excellent education for all of our students--and I invite all campus members to join me in renewing that shared commitment.

Over the next few weeks, there will be considerable discussion of issues related to unionization, and I encourage all participants to inform themselves fully and to demonstrate the same standard of thoughtful and civil discourse that has characterized UCSC's approach to other challenging topics. A decision to restructure the relationship that graduate students have with their faculty, with their departments, and with the university should not be undertaken lightly. I urge all of those concerned to read information widely, to avoid rhetoric, and to help us plan carefully for the future of graduate education.

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