Labor Actions


This page is dedicated to providing a range of support for instructors when it comes to labor actions, such as strikes, that take place during instruction and may include a range of university workers. We aim to provide links to up-to-date resources for current labor actions so that instructors of different positions can access information, as well as a variety of resources and support for re-organizing one’s teaching plan for any scenario.

Staying Informed: Current Labor Actions

On Friday, May 3rd, 2024, the union representing graduate student workers (UAW 4811) filed unfair labor practices charges in response to the University of California’s response to protests and encampments on some UC campuses. The union members took a strike authorization vote between May 13 and 15, authorizing a systemwide labor strike beginning on Monday, May 20 at UC Santa Cruz. This page will be updated as more information is known. Here are some resources that can help you stay informed:

UC Communications

Union & Faculty Association Communications

Relevant Academic Senate Communications & Policies

Supporting Students Who Cannot Access the Campus

If you have students in your class who are temporarily prevented from accessing the campus under Section 626.4 of the California Penal Code, you have the option to make remote provisions for students to continue their studies regardless of whether the course is in person or online.

  • A 626.4 stayaway order is a restriction from physical access to campus; it does not affect a student’s enrollment in a course or their ability to complete their coursework remotely.
  • 626.4 stayaway orders are issued for up to 14 days. While some students may be able to return to campus in time for their final exams, others may not. If you would like to discuss how to make arrangements for individual students without physical access to take final exams remotely, please consult this resource on remote proctoring via Zoom, and/or contact
  • Students have the right to appeal their stayaway order by requesting a hearing. 
  • Learn more about what a 626.4 notice means for students.
  • For questions pertaining specifically to 626.4 stayaway orders, contact

Making a Plan for Supporting Students: Guiding Principles

Based on the information available to you, you may decide to respond to the current labor action by reorganizing your teaching plan. Here are some general guidelines for approaching any needed reorganization in a way that supports transparency and learning for students:

  1. Identify what is most important for students to learn to successfully complete your course and which assessments are key measures of progress toward the course learning outcomes. Organize student learning around those most important goals. 
  2. Consistently communicate with students, and as much as possible, use communication tools that you have been using throughout the term and that are familiar to you and your students. 
  3. Reach out for help with pedagogical questions by emailing TLC ( or connecting with us on Slack. Drop into daily virtual office hours for instructional technology support.

Making a Plan for Supporting Students: Common Approaches

The TLC Unplanned Events page covers common transitions in course formats, including teaching on Zoom, planning for asynchronous student learning, and teaching outdoors.

Modifying Lecture When Discussion Sections or Labs are Partially or Fully Unstaffed 

In certain circumstances some or all instructional support staff may not be available to teach discussion sections and labs. In these circumstances, instructors may wish to modify lectures to integrate learning activities that work toward the learning goals planned for your secondary sections. Because secondary discussion sections typically center discussions or active learning, approaches to modifying your lectures can include: 

In cases where labs are fully or partially unstaffed, consult with your department chair or contact the TLC for support with identifying alternative approaches that support students with making progress towards your course learning outcomes. Bear in mind that if some of your TAs are working and others are not, the TAs still working must remain within their allotted work hour limits.

Adapting Student Office Hours

If your regularly scheduled student office hours are underutilized and you are willing to modify them, consider other ways to use that time to support the learning goals of your students. Approaches can include: 

  • Invite student groups to collectively attend part or all of your weekly student office hours (consider modifying the time(s) to support your students). This approach allows cohorted groups of students to ask questions and engage with you and each other. 
  • Structure your regular weekly student office hours by topic with timed segments so that students can plan to attend the topics where they are seeking additional support. 

Making Changes to Summative Assessments (Exams, Major Projects)

  • Identify what is essential for summative assessments and what formats of assessments will best align with your adapted teaching plan.
    • If you are changing the format of an exam, such as from short answer to multiple choice, let students know and provide them with sample questions.
    • If you assign written papers in a course, consider adapting the assignment, such as having students write the outline of the paper, indicating what evidence or data from the course they will use and how it is connected to the paper’s thesis or argument. If you choose to do so, provide students with a strong example of this approach, and with a rubric that explains the expectations.
  • Use grading tools such as Gradescope to make grading more efficient by having more transparency and consistency.  
  • Consider your plan for proctoring in-person exams if you will not have instructional support staff. In some cases, it might be helpful to seek additional support from staff in your department or division. For small to medium sized courses, another potential resource is to schedule your exam in an ITS-supported computer lab (labs are limited availability; the largest lab seats up to 48 students). 
  • When necessary and in circumstances when campus is (or is likely to be) inaccessible, consider using remote proctoring such as Zoom or ProctorU.
  • For remote proctoring via ProctorU, please fill out this request form by Wednesday, June 5th at 5 PM and ITS staff will be in touch with you. If you have questions, please contact
  • Consider how you will give students feedback about their work in your adapted teaching plan, whether the feedback is automated in an online quiz, feedback to groups of students, or to the whole class in a short video that highlights common successes and challenges of student work.
  • Consider how you might use rubrics in your adapted teaching plan, such as by asking students to self-evaluate their submitted work using the rubrics. 
  • Explore more options for assessments.

Ideas for Asynchronous Learning

  • Create a structured online discussion in Canvas (by section groups, if appropriate) or in Ed Discussions. Consider creating an online space for students to interact asynchronously. The Asynchronous Online Discussions website has technical and pedagogical guidelines for facilitating discussions online. 
  • Encourage students to form study groups, or assign group projects, and set up a class Q and A discussion to encourage them to ask questions.
  • Invite students to annotate a reading together, asynchronously, by using Hypothesis or asking students to comment on a reading in a Google Doc.
  • Create a self-grading online quiz with multiple attempts for student mastery, and provide information about where students can conduct further research related to your course materials.
  • For more ideas, see TLC’s resources for designing effective courses.

When Appropriate, Use Technology

Depending on the circumstances, there may be a need to utilize technology in ways that weren’t originally planned for the course.

Communicate Your Plan

  • Once you develop a plan, communicate about it with the teaching team and with students. Include information about communication channels and technologies that may be used. A plan may entail adding synchronous class meetings through Zoom, or asynchronous elements (such as reading, independent assignments or pre-recorded video) to your Canvas course. 
  • Communicate with your students as soon as possible (through whichever channels are typically used in the class) to let them know about the details of your plan. Let them know what kinds of changes you’ll make to the class (e.g., class will be canceled, class will be held on Zoom, etc.). Even if you don’t know what adjustment you’re going to make, let them know that you’re aware of the unfolding situation and that you’ll circle back with a plan in x hours.
  • Communicate consistently: whether you are using Canvas Announcements, email, or a discussion tool (Discord, Slack, etc.), students should know which method to expect. It’s also advisable to use more than one method of communication, especially when sending critical communications (e.g., sending an email and an identical Canvas announcement).
  • Communicate changes to the location of course materials: if you don’t typically use Canvas or Yuja as a repository for course materials and you plan to begin using them during a strike, contact students through email and Canvas announcement to let them know where they can find the materials and what they should be looking for. 
  • Keep lines of communication open and consistent to keep students informed about a possibly changing situation and the current status; make sure that students have a standard way of communicating with you. If you are going to be away from communications at specific times, let your students know when you won’t be available.
  • Be prepared to respond to student requests to participate in strike-related events: some students may ask to miss class or defer assignments to join protests or support the labor action. While you do not necessarily need to publicly share how you will respond, it is best to be prepared with a consistent approach for all students in this category.
Last modified: Jun 04, 2024