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About Academic Employment at UC Berkeley

Employment can be an important source of financial support for eligible Berkeley graduate students. Academic Student Employees (ASEs) and Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) are among the highest paid in public higher education and receive competitive benefit packages as outlined below. Most funding packages for doctoral students include semesters of academic student employment.

Graduate students at Berkeley are most commonly employed as Graduate Student Instructors (GSI), Graduate Student Researchers (GSR), Readers, and Tutors. Students must meet certain academic requirements and other eligibility criteria to qualify for graduate student academic employment. Graduate students are also subject to Graduate Council and Graduate Division policies regarding employment to academic and staff titles, including minimum enrollment requirements and limitations on percentage of appointment.

Benefits of UC Academic Employment include:

    • Compensation: Compensation details for the titles GSI, Reader, and Tutor are negotiated by a labor agreement between the University and the United Automobile Workers (UAW). GSRs are covered by a separate labor agreement with the UAW.
    • Tuition and fee remissions: As a benefit of employment, UC pays tuition and campus fees for eligible ASEs and GSRs holding appointments at 25% of full time or greater. Coverage is 100 percent of tuition, campus fees and health care for eligible ASEs and GSRs with 25 percent or greater appointments. 
    • Health benefits: Not only are ASEs and GSRs covered by a UC-sponsored student health plan, but so are their dependent children. Eligible ASEs and GSRs with a 25 percent or more appointment receive eligibility for a UC-sponsored student health plan for a UC-sponsored student health plan. UC also covers 100 percent of dependent child premiums for eligible ASEs and GSRs. 
    • Childcare reimbursement: Many graduate students are parents, and the benefit of childcare reimbursement is vital to their academic success. ASEs and GSRs receive  $2,025 a semester plus $1,350 for summer. ASEs and GSRs will also be entitled to an additional $100 annually, effective on Oct. 1, 2023, and Oct. 1, 2024. Refer to People & Culture for up to date information.
    • Paid leave: Life happens, and paid leave can support life’s expected or unexpected challenges. For ASEs and GSRs, this includes leave of up to 8 paid weeks per year for serious health conditions, family care, baby bonding, pregnancy or childbirth-related needs; short-term paid leave of 3 days for semester campuses; and paid bereavement leave of 5 calendar days. In addition, 12 days of paid Personal Time Off (PTO) is a new benefit for GSRs.
    • Transit: UC has a variety of transportation options available, and ASEs and GSRs have transit and parking-related services similar to other university employees. 
    • Accommodations: UC is committed to making reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities and access needs so they can get their work done. ASEs and GSRs that are bargaining unit members are eligible for temporary work adjustments as negotiated in their respective labor agreements.
    • Respectful work environment: ASEs and GSRs should feel safe and cared for on campus, as outlined in UC Berkeley’s Principles of Community. New contract provisions address conduct in the workplace and provide a dispute resolution process.
    • Holidays: ASEs and GSRs have 14 paid holidays, including recognizing Juneteenth as an academic and administrative holiday.
    • New E-Bike Purchase Program: In our commitment to sustainability and accessibility, we’re launching this program to offer students, staff, and faculty an affordable and eco-friendly transportation alternative. E-bikes not only revolutionize your commute but also contribute to creating a greener and more vibrant campus environment.

Labor Agreements

The titles GSI, Reader, and Tutor are covered by a labor agreement between the University and the United Automobile Workers (UAW). 

GSRs are covered by a separate labor agreement with the UAW.