University of California welcomes selection of Darrell Steinberg as mediator in negotiations with United Auto Workers

The University of California today (Dec. 12) welcomed Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s selection as a mediator in the ongoing negotiations between the University of California and the United Auto Workers (UAW). Steinberg, the former Senate Pro Tem and current Mayor of Sacramento, was asked to serve in the role by mutual agreement between the University and the union. The two parties jointly agreed to Steinberg’s selection with the hope of overcoming recent negotiation gridlock and securing a fair and reasonable contract for the University’s Graduate Student Researchers and Academic Student Employees.

“Darrell Steinberg has developed a reputation as a fair-minded public servant and skilled negotiator who brings people together. I believe Mayor Steinberg is uniquely positioned to help facilitate a fair and reasonable contract that allows us to support our students as they work towards their degrees,” said Michael V. Drake, president of the University of California. “Our faculty, students, and staff have shouldered the burden of a strike for far too long. We all know the tremendous impact our graduate student employees make, and it is my hope that with the mayor’s help we can quickly secure a fair deal that honors those contributions.”

Details related to the mediation schedule are still being agreed upon at this time.

“The University of California is a critical institution that educates the next generation of leaders and helps drive the state’s economy. We must ensure that the fruits of the University’s impact are being fairly distributed to everyone involved in its mission,” said Mayor Steinberg. “It is my hope that both parties will enter this mediation with an open mind, a spirit of goodwill, and a focus on compromise. I look forward to working with the parties to secure a contract.”

About Mayor Steinberg:

Darrell Steinberg is the current Mayor of the City of Sacramento. First elected as Sacramento’s mayor in 2016, he has guided the city through an unprecedented pandemic and a long overdue reckoning around race and equity. A skilled mediator, Mayor Steinberg negotiated the legal settlements that paved the way for the construction of UC Davis’ innovation campus, Aggie Square, which will bring thousands of new jobs to Sacramento while also investing millions in surrounding neighborhoods to prevent displacement of current residents.

Prior to becoming Mayor, Steinberg served 14 years in the state Legislature, and became the first Sacramentan to serve as President of the Senate in over 125 years. As Senate Pro Tem, he worked with two Governors and multiple legislative leaders to help lead the state through its worst economic crisis in decades. His bipartisan work helped end the state budget crisis and earned him and three other Legislative leaders the 2010 John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award, one of the highest political honors in the country.

Mayor Steinberg left the Legislature in 2014 due to term limits and subsequently founded the independent Steinberg Institute, which today has become the leading voice on mental health policy and legislation in California. Steinberg is a graduate of UCLA and UC Davis Law School.