The Department of History of Art and Architecture at UC Santa Barbara stands in solidarity with the Union of Academic Student Employees at UC (UAW 2865), Postdocs and Academic Researchers (UAW 5810), and Student Researchers (SRU-UAW). We pledge to support graduate student employees and their lawful right to strike. Further, we wish to assure these students that the Department and its faculty will take no retaliatory action against those involved in or supportive of this labor action. We recognize and support the necessity of seeking reasonable and equitable salaries for all graduate student employees so that they can keep pace with the rate of inflation and the exorbitant cost of living in California, especially as it applies to housing costs. It is unacceptable that the University of California's current salary rates create conditions in which students spend well over 50% of their monthly salary for rent, live in their cars and rely on local food banks for themselves and their families. The HAA faculty greatly value our graduate students and the key role they play in teaching and creating knowledge, and we recognize them as essential participants in our university community and the mission of the public university. We urge the UC administration to do as much as possible to meet student demands and offer them a living wage, one that is competitive with comparable universities around the country.
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