UC Student-Workers Union to UC Admin: Bargain With Us Over Remedies to Sexual Harassment

Students and workers across the UC face high rates of sexual violence and sexual harassment, and members of the UC Student-Workers Union who have experienced sexual violence and sexual harassment report numerous unfair experiences as a result of the Title IX process. We need a #ViolenceFreeUC in order to have a #UCforALL. Add your name to our petition calling up the UC Admin to bargain with us to establish survivor-centered processes to address sexual violence and sexual harassment at the UC.

Graduate student workers can experience particularly pernicious forms of harassment from academic advisors whom they rely on for future career opportunities and who are often protected from oversight by tenure. In contract negotiations between the UC Student-Workers Union and representatives of the UC Office of the President (UCOP), the UC Administration has not been willing to negotiate with student workers over the terms and alternatives to the inadequate Title IX process (alternatives such as the Union grievance process).

Members of our Union who have experienced sexual violence and sexual harassment report numerous unfair experiences as a result of the Title IX process, such as:

  • Long delays of justice—the Title IX investigation and potential disciplinary process can drag out for several years and is not transparent. The Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education has condemned UC for failing to establish any concrete timeline for resolving cases, leaving student workers who bring cases forward in limbo.
  • One-sided “due process”—the student worker’s career is put on hold, while the accused often continues working under only slightly modified conditions.
  • Demeaning cross-examinations—As part of the University’s Title IX investigation process, and/or the disciplinary proceedings following a Title IX investigation, the worker is compelled to demonstrate the legitimacy of their claims of sexual violence by describing (and potentially reliving) trauma and disclosing irrelevant details of their private lives.

This is unacceptable. We are proposing the following changes to our contract:

  • Allow student-workers to choose to use the Union grievance process concurrently with a Title IX investigation.
  • Implement interim measures so that student-workers who have reported sexual violence or harassment can continue working and learning in an environment free from harassment and discrimination.
  • Ensure timely responses to reports of sexual violence or sexual harassment.
  • Provide regular updates to the complainant in the case of disciplinary review
  • Establish consistent disciplinary outcomes for perpetrators found to have committed sexual violence or sexual harassment, and remove administrators with conflicts of interest from the process
  • Guarantee that a student-worker receives representation (not isolation) throughout the process.
  • Disclose investigation results so that student-workers know what’s going on in our workplaces.

Let’s compel the UC to bargain with student-workers for survivor justice by demonstrating that we’re strong and united in these demands. Sign and share this petition to add your voice to the call: We need a #ViolenceFreeUC in order to have a #UCforALL.