U. of Calif. Teaching-Assistant Union Files Complaint About Class Sizes

A union that represents more than 12,000 teaching assistants, tutors, and readers across the University of California system has filed a complaint with the state’s Public Employment Relations Board, raising concerns about growing class sizes and demanding that discussions of class size be a part of the union’s contract negotiations.

The union is the same group that last fall released a report that raised alarms about the issue.

The university’s Office of the President said that it had received the complaint but that class size was not an appropriate issue for bargaining.

“Wages and working conditions are the types of issues that are addressed in labor negotiations,” spokeswoman Shelly Meron said. “Class size is an academic issue, not a bargaining issue.”

She pointed to the academic student employees’ last contract, which states, “No action taken by the University with respect to a management or academic right shall be subject to the grievance or arbitration procedure or collateral suit.”

The academic student workers’ union argues that class size is an essential part of assistants’ working conditions.

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