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UC-AFT Insider January 2015

University Council-AFT Insider
January 9, 2015

In this issue: 

  • Building a Stronger Union—UC-AFT Organizing in 2015
  • UC-AFT Plan for Enhancing Affordability, Access and Quality at UC
  • Major Victory at UCLA—An End to the Abuse of the Adjunct Professor Job Title?  
  • Know Your Rights—Non-Senate Faculty:  Article 8 Instructional Support

Building a Stronger Union—UC-AFT Organizing in 2015
UC-AFT is looking forward to a busy year of organizing! We are building a strong membership network in anticipation of contract negotiations and the expiration of the Unit 18 MOU in June 2015.  We are organizing against tuition increases by promoting our new plan (see below) to freeze tuition and improve access and quality at UC.  We will also continue our work with the nationwide movement for contingent faculty equity by participating in the Adjunct Week of Action February 23-27.  There are lots of opportunities within UC-AFT for our members to contribute skills, passion and creativity. Please get involved today!

UC-AFT Plan for Enhancing Affordability, Access and Quality at UC
UC-AFT has released a plan to freeze tuition, decrease student debt, increase four-year graduation rates and improve budget transparency at UC.  Our plan would use the financialization of the university in a progressive way by directing investment profits toward core educational functions. UC can use investment income to expand financial aid and invest in the instructional mission with the goal of reducing time to graduation and improving the quality of education.  The plan relies on a 2% increase (above the Governor’s proposed 4% increase) in State funding for UC.  UC-AFT will be lobbying the Governor and the legislature for this additional funding.  The increase in State funding would be conditioned upon greater transparency in the UC budget.  Please visit the UC-AFT website to read the full plan.

Major Victory at UCLA—An End to the Abuse of the Adjunct Professor Job Title?
The Public Employee Relations Board has ruled that the UCLA Law School was routinely violating the Unit 18 MOU by hiring instructors as Adjunct Professors rather than as Lecturers. One way the university undermines our bargaining unit, and the rights and benefits of employees within the bargaining unit, is by hiring people into job titles with similar responsibilities but that are outside of our unit. Adjuncts are often paid less than Lecturers and have no access to continuing appointments. The Adjunct Professor title is distinct from Lecturer because Adjunct appointments require research and service in addition to teaching. This was not the practice in the law school, where Adjuncts were hired solely to teach courses. According to PERB, the law school “used the adjunct assignment as a status designation, reserving it for those applicants it believed were the most distinguished.” PERB has ordered that Adjuncts at the law school from the 2008-2009 academic year on must be reclassified as lecturers and be paid retroactively for any loss in salary with 7% interest.  Additionally, PERB ordered UC to pay UC-AFT back dues that would have been contributed by the affected lecturers during this time. 

Know Your Rights—Non-Senate Faculty:  Article 8 Instructional Support
According to Article 8 of the Unit 18 MOU, UC must provide the basic resources required for NSF to perform assigned duties and responsibilities.  This includes providing an office with a desk, computer, phone, mailbox, etc.  See Article 8 for a more full list.  If you have a question or concern about your access to these basic resources, please contact the UC-AFT field representative or steward on your campus. Article 8 also establishes lecturer eligibility for campus instructional improvement and course development grants and course support funds.  These funds are separate from the Non-Senate Faculty Professional Development Fund established in Article 9. 

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The University Council – American Federation of Teachers is an affiliate of the California Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO.