Thousands of researchers and student employees at UCLA, UC Irvine, the eight other University of California campuses and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory went on strike Monday in an effort to secure improved pay and working conditions.

Professors canceled classes, truck drivers refused to cross the picket lines to deliver packages in support of the nation’s largest strike since 2019, the largest strike at any academic institution, and first strike by postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers, according to Rafael Jaime, president of UAW Local 2865, which represents the 48,000 striking tutors, readers, graduate student instructors and teaching assistants.

Three tentative agreements were reached Monday, Jaime said.

“At this point, the priority should be round-the-clock bargaining in good faith as opposed to switching to a mediation process, Jaime said. “We remain willing and able to meet with the university on an ongoing basis to reach a resolution.”

Ryan King, spokesman for the University of California Office of the President, said in a statement Monday afternoon “at this time, we believe that the best path to an agreement is with the aid of a third-party mediator. We continue to encourage the union’s partnership in pursuing mediation.”

Compensation was “the biggest sticking point, both today and in previous sessions,” Jaime said.

“The university’s proposals do not adequately address the affordable housing crisis confronting our members,” Jaime said.

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