New Wage Increase for Lecturers and March 7th Bargaining Update
UC-AFT Unit 18 members will be getting a 3% wage increase on July 1st, 2014! This is because our bargaining team included a “me too” clause with faculty salaries, and they are getting this deal.
Additionally, the contract (MOU) that we ratified on December 6th 2013 for Lecturers and other members of Unit 18 included a "me too" provision that our unit would be able to reopen and bargain over retiree health if any other union received a better retiree health provision than we had bargained. We held our first bargaining session on Friday, March 7 2014 and there was a cordial tone at the bargaining table.
As provided in Article 42 in our MOU, we also discussed issues related to on-line instruction but primarily to gather information about what is going on with UC on-line instruction. Representing the Unit 18 members for the UC-AFT were: Bob Samuels, Chief Negotiator (writing at UCSB), Ben Harder (writing at UCR), Jon Lang (writing at UCB), Mike Rotkin (retired Community Studies at UCSC), and Amy Hines, Executive Director of the UC-AFT.
The session was used primarily for information gathering. We got details about the retirement provisions bargained by UPTE (Union of Professional and Technical Employees) and CNA (California Nurses Association). AFSCME is still ratifying their agreement, so we did not discuss it at the bargaining table on March 7. We also got some cost information about the UPTE and CNA arrangements and what it might cost to provide our members with similar arrangements. We discovered that although both UPTE and CNA had bargained a single tier with respect to when all of their members would be eligible to retire and when they would receive their maximum age factor for retirement payout, and that they received a retiree health package that will provide more UC employer support for retiree health costs, these unions had to agree to increased contributions, above those being paid by our members, to keep the costs of the arrangement they bargained cost neutral, i.e, with no additional costs to the University. These agreements were 1% extra employee contributions to pension for current employees and 2% extra employee contributions to pension for new employees (so these workers will be paying 9% for their benefits instead of the 7% that we pay).
We also raised concerns about ways in which the intermittent and part-time nature of work for many lecturers negatively impacts the service credit they earn toward retirement and retiree health and began to explore how these issues might be addressed in a new agreement, but did not put forward any specific proposals at this session.
Based on the information we received at the bargaining table, we will now begin a process to determine what our members on every campus think about the discussed topics. So, keep your eyes peeled for notices about meetings on your campus and a statewide survey of members intended to educate the bargaining team about what the members of Unit 18 want us to do.