Twitter icon
Facebook icon
RSS icon
YouTube icon


Bargaining Update #18 December 8-9


Bargaining Update: No More Extensions; Take an Incomplete

Last post, I used the metaphor of Finals Week: everyone was desperately trying to finish all their work. Unfortunately, like those students who “try really hard” but end up turning in only the first three pages of their required seven-page research paper, the UC couldn’t write up its positions by Wednesday afternoon.

They told us they didn’t have the authority to make a financial proposal, either for salary or for payment in lieu of benefits for Lecturers without benefits. In addition, several side agreements we are working on to resolve issues at Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, and San Diego are progressing very slowly; there are still differences in our most important Articles—7a, 7b, and 7c; and even though the University has reluctantly agreed to abide by the Public Employment Relation Board’s legal decision about determining our membership, their proposal puts so many limitations on our ability to grieve their wrongdoing that it is a poison pill.

Aside from no money on the table, a poison-pill offer for resolving key problems with determining who is a Lecturer, and glacial progress on resolving local issues, there was movement. We are close on grievance, arbitration, and layoff, and we have made progress on workload. We also TA’d two minor articles: the first on union enrollment forms and dues deductions, and the second on release time for union business. Both represent modest but fair gains.

Still, it wasn’t enough, and we have chosen not to accept a third temporary extension of our contract. So, the contract is in “status quo.” We are out of contract, but most of the rules of the contract still apply. We cannot use arbitration, for example, so our members run some risk. On the other hand, if things go badly in the future, we will have more options for protest.

One last note, we won’t be meeting with the UC again until January 19th. The UC did offer to meet more and earlier, but between the holidays and the very busy start to the Winter Quarter and Spring Semester, we could not find any dates. So, we’ll meet Tuesday the 19th, Thursday the 28th, and Friday the 29th of January.

Despite the few scheduled bargaining days, I am still optimistic about settling the contract. We have reduced the number of differences, and those that are left are really not so complicated. It is becoming a matter of will.

So, a few fierce, legal, and clever protests are just what we need these days. Each local has a few weeks to organize one.

In solidarity,

Ben Harder, Chief Negotiator