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Graduate Students Suspend Strike

State Lawmakers Broker Agreement for Talks Between UC, AGSE

by Janet Gilmore, Public Affairs
posted December 09, 1998

Graduate student instructors suspended their strike Monday, Dec. 7, after UC officials agreed to meet with representatives of the Association of Graduate Student Employees/United Auto Workers.

The agreement, reached Dec. 6, was proposed by state Senate President Pro Tem John Burton and Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa. It calls for a 45-day cooling off period and an attempt by both sides to resolve their dispute. Talks will begin within 10 days of the agreement.

AGSE/UAW is seeking collective bargaining rights for graduate student instructors (GSIs).

UC President Richard Atkinson said university officials still believe that GSIs are not eligible for collective bargaining rights, but he welcomes the opportunity for an open discussion about strike-related issues.

"Our first priority has been to fulfill our obligations to undergraduate students," Atkinson said, "and this plan will ensure that instruction and grading of final exams for the fall term proceed without interruption."

Roughly 7 percent to 10 percent of Berkeley GSIs participated in the four-day, systemwide strike, according to administration estimates. The strike began Dec.1, while many campus classes were reviewing coursework in preparation for the next week's start of final exams.

Campus Registrar Susanna Castillo-Robson said her office has received few calls from students about how the abrupt suspension of the strike will affect special grading options made available at the start of the strike.

The special grading options are largely unchanged. A student may continue to request a Pass/No Pass status from the instructor or department if the course is declared impacted by the strike and if the request is made before finals.

A faculty member should honor a student's request to rescind a previously arranged P/NP arrangement if the request is made before the final examination, according to information from the Registrar.

Additional information on these matters, and on In-Progress grades, will be available on the campus' web site:


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