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Bargaining Update #19 January 28 and 29


It has been a long time since our last bargaining update. The parties took the Winter break off, and the first two weeks of a quarter are always hectic, so none of our team could meet with the UC then.

The team first met the UC January 19, 2016. At that meeting, both parties began moving towards a final agreement, and the final compensation package began to take shape. Significantly, the UC began to listen seriously to our strong belief that those who teach part time also deserve employer contributions towards their retirement.

On the other hand, the UC still clung to its idea the it did not have to listen to the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), and change the process we have for challenging misclassification of our Lecturers as unrepresented “Adjunct” and “Visiting Professors.”

On January 23rd, the UC-AFT Council held its quarterly meeting in Manhattan Beach. There, it set parameters for settling the contract, covering salary and compensation, dispute resolution language, benefits and leaves, and other outstanding issues. Resolved, the team set out to get our contract.

The most pressing issue was resolving the UC’s block about listening to PERB. That block was resolved last Wednesday (27th), as our Lawyer met with the UC’s legal team, some of UC’s bargaining team, and two members of our team. Then, the clouds started to part, and we found a path towards re-working our contract language to allow us to defend our turf when PERB says we must use grievance and arbitration.

Thursday, the 28th, the whole team met with the UC. We bargained from 10:00 A.M. until 11:00 P.M. (we spent some time waiting for the UC, and they spent some time waiting for us).

Friday, our team caucused in the morning (it felt good to make management wait for once), and passed our “next-to-last proposal.” The UC countered with its “last” proposal, and then we continued changing things until we ran past our 7:00 P.M. deadline. Negotiators on both sides changed their flights home, and booked hotel rooms, and we came to an almost complete agreement at 11:45 P.M., Friday, January 29, 2016.

That agreement is not totally finalized, pending final approval by the UC. I can say we made gains in pre-six stability, benefits, leaves, and salary, but I cannot spell out details right now.

It looks promising. I hope to announce on Thursday that we got a great contract.