Thursday, August 23, 2012

UC, CSU research assistants would get union rights - Sacramento Bee

A bill approved by the state Senate would give University of California and California State University research assistants the right to collective bargaining.

SB259 by Sen. Loni Hancock, a Berkeley Democrat, was approved 46-27 Thursday.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, a fellow Berkeley Democrat who presented the bill, said it would extend the same rights and benefits enjoyed by teaching assistants to research assistants.

It would affect 14,000 research assistants in the UC alone.

Republicans objected to the bill, which they said would further drive up rapidly rising college costs.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican from Twin Peaks, blamed most of the extra cost on benefits and pay for university employees who belong to public employee unions.

Gov. Jerry Brown has until the end of September to act on the bill.

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