Statement of Solidarity and Support For UCSC Graduate Student Workers Fighting for a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

Graduate workers at the University of California, Santa Cruz are currently on a wildcat strike for a cost of living adjustment to their stipend to offset the high cost of living in Northern California. In centering the cost of living, the strike has directly challenged and brought renewed attention to the historical and ongoing exploitation of graduate student instructors and researchers, as well as staff, service workers, and undergraduate workers at the Santa Cruz campus and university campuses across the country. This strike has been met by the administration with terminations of graduate instructors, threats of deportation to international students, and ultimately the violent arrests of eighteen graduate workers at an on-campus protest.[1] 

UE Local 896/COGS, representing the graduate student employees at the University of Iowa, stands in solidarity with the UCSC Graduate Students as they fight for a cost of living adjustment commensurate with the Northern California area. We condemn all administrative efforts to break the strike or otherwise intimidate or retaliate against strikers. We condemn reported threats to international and undocumented students and reported police violence against strikers on Monday, February 10, 2020. 

The ability of graduate workers to focus on teaching and research is dependent on their ability to afford the basic cost of living of their school’s area. The university works because we do! 

In Solidarity, 

COGS/UE Local 896

[1] Public Affairs to UC Santa Cruz Community, “Statement on Feb. 12 Protest, Arrests,” February 13, 2020, UC Santa Cruz Newscenter,; Janet Napolitano, “An Open Letter from President Janet Napolitano to Faculty, Staff and Students at UC Santa Cruz,” February 14, 2020, UC Santa Cruz Newscenter,; Lori Kletzer Interim Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor, “Graduate Student Strike Update,” February 14, 2020, UC Santa Cruz Newscenter,