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Geffen Faculty Bargaining Update #2 July 29, 2019


Geffen Faculty Bargaining Update #2pwmHIHm-EbtqQBr1NQx0MXUNDc7XQlXCWV3jo1Weg63hAdtmxAwEv4AlIwu3ahdffK2SqJnHddfnB_-rLz1WIz9UIlxdjEqhGvTSo1K0v3dbz_9lfp-z3faWxxRc5mOPQi399E6Kn84GRSpsOQ

July 29th, 2019

Your GA bargaining team (Lisa, Sean, and Christian, with support from UC-AFT President Mia McIver) met with UC admin* on July 29th for our second bargaining session. We were hoping for a positive response to the proposals we had presented on July 16th concerning retirement benefits credit, the GA calendar, timelines for appointments and reappointments, workload policies, and paid personal leave. We wanted to reach agreement on these highest priorities before the academic year began, then continue negotiating over other issues.

UC admin rejected our proposals almost entirely. Plus, their own proposal contradicted what they had previously said multiple times. After hearing for months from Labor Relations staff that they want separate contracts for the Geffen Academy, the UCLA Lab School, and the Preuss School at UC San Diego (we entirely agree!), they presented a proposal to us with sections copied and pasted from the Preuss School side letter. This was confusing, and we didn’t get satisfactory answers when we asked for clarification about their change of position.

Despite having ample time to respond to our highest priorities, they gave us an incomplete proposal that focused mainly on discipline and dismissal, including a provision where UC admin could dock someone’s pay as punishment for misconduct. Their proposal does not include progressive discipline, meaning that we would be subject to censure, suspension, reduction in pay, or dismissal without any advance warning or due process. It provides for only 45 days’ notice for layoff, with no criteria for establishing a layoff order. (For reference: in the main contract, UC-AFT faculty with similar appointments are entitled to anywhere between 60 days and a year of notice with a clear seniority system.)

Their proposal had empty sections or placeholders where language about Appointment and Reappointment, Professional Development, Leaves, Holidays, Compensation, and Merit Review should be. Problematically, their proposal explicitly denies GA Educators 1) academic freedom and 2) eligibility for a continuing appointment (meaning that we will have to reapply for our own jobs each and every year without ever having any assurance of being rehired).

When presenting their proposal, UC admin warned us that we would see things that were “inflammatory” and would “shock us.” We’re not shocked, but we’re disappointed that their proposal communicates so little respect for us as teachers and for the practice of teaching itself. Of course, we’re not done negotiating. We’re still optimistic that we’ll turn those rejections around and get a strong agreement. We’ll need all GA Educators to visibly demonstrate support for our proposals if we’re going to make progress in achieving them.

*Why are we saying “UC admin” rather than “GA leadership”? Because it became clear that UC Labor Relations is driving the Geffen Academy’s positions. The bargaining session began with UCLA Labor Relations staff saying that long delays on their part are due to their need to have things approved by many others up the chain of command in Labor Relations, including at the UC Office of the President in Oakland. In fact, when Dr. Catalan brought up the possibility of informally getting input from GA Educators about workload policies, a Labor Relations representative stepped in to say that she should always contact Labor Relations before communicating with Educators.

Summary of Geffen Academy Negotiations


We proposed (July 16th):


Their response (July 29th):


Ability to defer acceptance of our appointment until any questions and concerns about its terms are resolved.


Ability to request a meeting with our Division Director if we have concerns about the appointment letter.


Receiving our appointment and reappointment letters by March 15th each year.


They will “endeavor” to send out appointment letters by the first week of the spring term. (This soft language about “trying” makes the deadline meaningless.)


Advance notice if we’re not being reappointed.




12 months’ UCRP service credit for those hired in August 2018.




Written confirmation of our classes, advisories, and other responsibilities.




Ability to request a workload review if our assigned duties result in too much uncompensated work.




A detailed workload policy providing for classes, advisories, fifth bucket responsibilities, and stipends for extra work.


Rejected and refused to negotiate further. Workload decisions would be solely up to GA admin.


A standard ten-month academic year, with extra compensation for those who participate in an additional two weeks of orientation and professional development.


Rejected and refused to negotiate further. They advised us to turn down the job offer from GA “if you do not appreciate the length of work.”


One day of paid personal leave for every four weeks in the academic year.




A clear, fair, comprehensive contract that ensures the GA will continue to be an innovative, progressive school for both students and educators.


“There are no guarantees anywhere.”


Meeting the next day (July 30th) to continue negotiations.


They would not have any other proposals prepared by then.