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Bargaining Update #15 October 27-30 San Diego


Bargaining Update: A Very Mixed Bag--Contract extended to December 10

This week in San Diego was supposed to be the time when the sides figured out where we stand, and bargained in earnest about the few vital issues that remained. Instead, negotiations were bogged down as we made a detour into the Article 12—Leaves. Also, we had received both positive and negative signals from their team.

After waiting all day on Tuesday for them to be ready, we met at 6:00 P.M. We passed them our benefits article, which emphasized fair, annual appointments and putting all Unit 18 Non-Senate Faculty in the Social Security system.

Then, the UC team gave us their proposals for 7a, 7b, and 7c. These three are the articles that govern Pre-six year Lecturer appointments, excellence reviews, and Continuing Appointments. Their team also made a proposal on the Layoff article and provided a “supposal” to cover a mentoring review for Lecturers in their third year of teaching. Although we are at the start of writing this new article, it will be a big gain for new Lecturers who are looking for mentoring at the start of their careers.

Unfortunately, the UC took out a current contract provision that required them to complete the excellence review by the end of the sixth year. When we asked them about it, they told us they forgot to move it to a new location. We stopped talking at that point, and they spent the rest of the day re-writing 7b and 7c.

Wednesday morning, we discussed the rest of their proposals from the night before, and they promised to give us new versions of 7b and 7c later. In the afternoon, we presented them with proposals on articles such as grievance, arbitration, discipline and dismissal, no strikes/no lockout, and union rights.

Thursday morning, they brought the revised 7b and 7c. Then, some of us had a short side meeting about the leaves article. On some campuses, Lecturers have had significant problems getting leaves. UCLA, for example, told the Union that Lecturers are not allowed any kind of maternity leave, even the state-mandated leave. This, by the way, is wrong. We discussed our dissatisfaction with the ways in which leaves are being handled at some campuses.

On Thursday at 11:30 A.M., the last scheduled day of bargaining, the UC told us that in the afternoon, they would bring their first proposals—Their. First. Proposals—on salary, and leaves, and their second proposals—after an eight month wait—on benefits and merit reviews.

On Thursday, we waited nine hours—yes, nine (9) hours—to get those proposals. Here are their proposals:

  • For benefits, the UC passed us the same benefit proposal they passed on March 3rd, the very first day of bargaining.
  • The UC did not mention the proposed new pension tier.
  • The UC rejected providing all NSF with Social Security.
  • In terms of merit reviews, the UC passed language that repeated current language in Article 7b, which already applies to merit reviews.
  • In the Leaves article, the UC told us they were giving us something really good, but that they couldn’t show it to us yet.
  • For salary, the UC offered us 1.5% after we sign, plus the promise that we’ll get the same general range adjustment as Senate Faculty get in 2016, 2017, and 2018, but nothing in 2019, with the contract ending June 30, 2020.

So Thursday night, they wanted us to accept a four-and-a-half-year contract based on 1.5% guaranteed salary increases, with a new pension tier that we don’t know anything about, and benefits that reject Social Security. Oh, and the promise of something good in the Leaves Article.

Friday, we met an extra day, and tried to determine whether the UC has any interested in continuing negotiations. On the bright side, their bullet proposals for the Leaves article are positive: they “supposed” paid leaves at all percentage appointments for pregnancy, and stated their intentions of making clear that leaves all apply to NSF as they do to other faculty.

There were gains through the week on a concept of a third year mentoring meeting. While we need to flesh out the details, it is clear that Lecturers will get the feedback they need to best provide our students with an excellent education, which is, of course, our purpose.

We also have locked in an extra one percent increase in salary for those starting their fourth year as Lecturers—from 5% to 6%; reduced the maximum workload for Lecturers in Writing and Language instruction on the semester campuses—from 6 classes per year to 5; and agreed to a system of right of first refusal for Lecturers who have passed the excellence review but for whom there are no classes in what would be their first year as Continuing Appointees.

But, while there have been other real gains, for example in rules for posting job openings, the process of getting continuing appointments at appropriate percentages, and earlier notice for reductions in time that affect benefits, we cannot forget the 20 hours we waited for proposals last week, nor the insulting salary offer.

Therefore, you need to show the UC that you mean business, that you back the negotiating team, and that the team will not tentatively agree to, and you will not ratify, a contract that refuses to recognize the right of Non-Senate Faculty to fair salaries, fair benefits, stable appointments, and an honest relationship with their employer.