UC Faculty: We Need Your Support! Help Sustain Mass Action in Support of Student and Worker Demands in the Wake of the Election
Dear UC Faculty,
As many in our communities have observed, the impending inauguration of Donald Trump poses significant threats to our collective civil liberties, senses of safety, and to the future of public education. As representatives of the student workers union UAW 2865, we acknowledge that there are now widespread calls for mass action beginning on inauguration day, January 20th, and likely continuing long after. A coalition of students and workers across the UC system is joining this nationwide call. Now, more than ever, we are calling on the university and state legislators to extend protections for targeted groups and to ensure the sustainability and accessibility of public education. The incoming administration has threatened to deport undocumented members of our communities, cut federal funding for the sciences and other academic inquiry, cut funding for reproductive healthcare, and register all U.S. residents from Muslim-majority countries in a national database, among other horrifying threats. We take them at their word.
Faculty, especially tenured faculty, are in a strong position to support the January 20th walkout and to continue sustained direct action after that date by cancelling classes or bringing their students to the marches, teach-outs, and protests planned for the day and the following weeks. We recognize that tenured faculty are in a unique position to help sustain mass action even beyond January 20th. You may make clear your intention to not hold classes and withhold your educational labor for as long as it takes until the UC meets the demands issued by campus students and workers.
You can view the attachment for our official demands. They include: making UC a sanctuary campus, meaning administration will put protections in place for undocumented members of our community; free education; ensuring growth, not cuts, in federal funding for the sciences, and public UC support for ending Propositions 209 and 13, which have enabled racial segregation in education.
Withholding your labor in solidarity with this nationwide call means supporting students, workers, and community members who participate in the walkout on January 20th and subsequent walkouts thereafter.
In particular, we are writing to request that faculty:
- Cancel classes on January 20 and join any walkouts, teach-ins, or picket lines
- Refrain from assigning any work to student workers on January 20
- Indicate to student workers that they will not face retaliation if they participate in the walkouts.
- Release a statement from faculty associations endorsing any calls for a general strike or mass action beyond January 20th
- Release a statement on behalf of the Academic Senate endorsing sustained walkouts or direct actions.
- Inform undergraduate students that they will not be penalized for supporting walkouts and actions.
- Share the attached information with undergraduate students to give context for the these actions.
The Walkout Call has been circulated statewide to tens of thousands of student workers represented by our union, which will be joined on January 20th by many many more undergraduates and communities. We call on faculty to join this call and stand in solidarity with oppressed communities, civil liberties, and the fight for public education.
UAW 2865 Joint Council