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Bargaining Update #17 December 3-4 Oakland


On quarter campuses, last week was the last week of instruction before final exams. Students everywhere were desperately trying to finish two months’ worth of work in four days, and prepare for Finals. It’s somewhat comforting as well as aggravating that the University of California takes the same approach to negotiating. At least I’m used to that schedule.

So finally, both sides are seriously talking, both sides had several proposals to exchange, and we are inching towards an agreement. We reached tentative agreements on Article 22—Merit Reviews, Article 42—Online Instruction, and two technical articles: 36—Past Practice and 37—Waiver. Of these, only Online Instruction changed very much. We improved that article to provide protections against being laid off because of necessary training to teach online, and to stipulate that all aspects of the contract, including salary and workload, apply to those who teach online classes.

The parties worked constructively to bridge the divides on pre-continuing NSF employment stability, including the issue of annual appointments instead of quarter- or semester-based appointments, slightly better language about rehire rights in the case of a layoff, and the requirement that departments clearly post job opportunities.

We are developing side agreements to address specific problems at specific campuses—the absolute denial of continuing appointments at UCLA and UC San Diego, problems with workload at UCSB, and issues of fragmented appointments at UC Santa Cruz.

We are also instituting a new mentoring meeting, which will provide pre-continuing Lecturers feedback about their teaching, without subjecting them to a review that could become a backdoor mechanism for a Chair to declare them “non-excellent” and not reappoint them. In other words, the new contract will provide all third-year Lecturers a chance to meet with their departments, get a sense of departmental expectations, and receive advice on their teaching going forward. We have a basic agreement with the University on how these will proceed, and we are fine-tuning the language at this time.

Despite the progress, we still have a lot to do. We’re meeting Tuesday and Wednesday (12-8/9) this week, hoping to finish before the contract expires on Thursday. It looks like we’ll have a Finals Week all-nighter, fitting for the season, I suppose.

Ben Harder
Chief Negotiator