Access to Continuing Appointments Article 7a.C.1.
A recent comparison of the size and composition of our units revealed that over the last year pre-six lecturers have taken the brunt of the budget reductions affecting our members. This column addresses the impacts of these cuts on access to continuing appointments for pre-six lecturers and provides some information on the rights of those lecturers who are approaching their excellence review.
Given that Unit 18 has reduced in size by 11% since April 2009, and since nearly all of this reduction has come from pre-six titles, it is no surprise that we are dealing with many lecturers approaching their sixth year review who've been told that they will not be reappointed. In some cases, courses are legitimately being cancelled, or offered to senate faculty or graduate students. In other cases, departments are responding to budget reductions by attempting to reduce their costs through non-renewal of lecturers approaching their excellence review.
According to the Unit 18 MOU, once a lecturer has reached their 15th quarter or 10th semester teaching in a single department, the courses they teach should be reviewed by the Dean to determine if there is a continuing need to have lecturers teach those courses. If the courses will continue to be offered, and taught by non-senate faculty, then there will be a need for a continuing appointment. When it is determined that there is a need, an excellence review of the lecturer will be initiated. The review must be completed by the end of the lecturer's 18th quarter or 12th semester.
Once a lecturer reaches the 15th quarter or 10th semester in a single department, the needs assessment must be completed. This is the first step in the excellence review process. In the past, we've handled many cases where departments have tried to cut lecturers after the 15th quarter in order to avoid a continuing appointment. We have been very successful in correcting these issues when it is clear that the courses will continue to be offered.
Now, some departments seek to work around the 15th quarter rule through non-renewals at the 14th quarter.
Here are a few tips to help protect your job as you approach your 13th quarter and beyond:
1. In February of every year, request to be reappointed for the following year and inquire about your annual review. Our contract requires that a review be completed for all pre-six lecturers who request reappointment. It can be very helpful to have positive reviews on file if we need to question a non-renewal decision.
2. Offer to teach required courses. Required courses offer much more security than electives when budgets get tight.
3. If you are not reappointed for any reason during your 13-17th quarters, or 8-11 semester, please contact your local UC-AFT field representative to discuss your rights. If you are 15 or beyond, it is likely we can reach an agreement with the department to offer you courses first should they decide to teach them again.