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Grad Students

June 01, 1997

"UCLA Students Rally for Union" (May 22) says the UCLA administration denies graduate students "a say in their employment." Teaching assistants (TAs) have a grievance procedure modeled on the one available to tenured faculty. TAs with concerns about workload or working conditions can seek redress through graduate programs, graduate schools and the Graduate Division. Academic leaders, including the dean of the Graduate Division, meet regularly with the Graduate Council of the Academic Senate to discuss any issues graduate students may place on the agenda. UCLA receives fewer than five grievances a year.

The main reason UCLA opposes collective bargaining for teaching assistants, readers and tutors is the belief that they are primarily students, whose educational objectives are enhanced through their experience. These students--whose efforts UCLA respects and values--are not primarily employees, thus are not an appropriate group for collective bargaining under California law.

ROBIN FISHER, Associate Dean

Graduate Division, UCLA

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