Research and technical workers at UC Merced were among those taking part in a one-day strike at University of California campuses and hospitals Wednesday.
Their unions and US officials have been negotiating for the past 20 months to come to a new contract agreement with no success.
The strike involves members who run clinical trials, assist in laboratory tests, manage classroom technology, among other things.
They say wage inequality remains at the heart of the issue.
“We’re sending a message that it’s not okay that your providing this type of treatment to your workers when it has a direct impact on the quality of the research and the student success of the campus,” says Kevin Two, executive board member for University Professional and Technical Employees, CWA 9119.
Spokeswoman for the University of California, Claire Doan, called the called the strike “organized theatrics.”
She says it comes at a cost to everyone, including patients and students.