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Member Ratification of UC-AFT Faculty Initial Bargaining Demands 2019



The following demands were developed by the 38 members of our Contract Campaign Committee after analyzing member input from our pre-launch questionnaire and more than 1,000 bargaining surveys.

They represent not simply a vision for a better future, but concrete goals we’re committed to fighting for in order to improve our students’ education and our own working conditions.

Your ratification will demonstrate that UC-AFT faculty are united behind these demands and thereby strengthen our leverage at the bargaining table.  Click here to ratify these bargaining demands.

Livable Salaries and Benefits

To devote our energies to educating UC students, we need to have our basic needs met. The annual minimum salary for a ladder-rank professor at the UC is $91,700, but the annual minimum salary for a UC-AFT faculty member who teaches the same classes is $54,736. Because so many of us are appointed part-time, the median pay for a UC lecturer in 2017 was a measly $19,900. 35% of UC-AFT faculty lack health insurance and retirement plan eligibility.  Inadequate compensation and benefits compromise our mission of providing high-quality instruction for all UC students.  UC management must:

  • Pay salaries commensurate with the cost of living in California, our qualifications and experience, and our contributions to the mission of the University.
  • Provide benefits, including health insurance, for all UC-AFT faculty regardless of appointment percentage or length.
  • Expand mental health services and resources for students and faculty.

Teaching at the Core of the UC’s Mission

We are UC’s scholar-teachers, entrusted with the minds of California’s young people.  Our impoverished working conditions send a message to students that their education doesn’t matter.  We are treated as second-class citizens, routinely marginalized and disrespected.  We reject this two-tier hierarchy that views our teaching as less valuable than tenure-track faculty teaching.  UC management must:

  • Improve classroom infrastructure to facilitate student learning.
  • Negotiate class sizes and enrollment policies that are conducive to student learning.
  • Guarantee that we control our own syllabi, course materials, and intellectual property in accordance with principles of academic freedom.
  • Provide office spaces that respect students’ FERPA privacy rights and confer dignity on teacher-student interactions.
  • Offer more opportunities and funding for professional development, including sabbatical leaves, and authorize lecturers with terminal degrees to become principal investigators on grant applications
  • Reduce workload for those who routinely work many uncompensated hours in excess of their appointment percentage.
  • Achieve parity between summer sessions appointments and appointments during the academic year.

Stable, Fair, and Career-Oriented Hiring and Reappointment

Students deserve to be taught by faculty who aren’t rushing to a second job, searching for new employment, or forced out of a department after a year.  Current provisions in our MOU are based on the outdated assumption that UC-AFT faculty should not be career academics.  UC admin hires us on a temporary basis that fails to accurately reflect our dedicated long-term service to the University.  We need to align our MOU with the realities of our work today and the changing landscape of higher education.  Freeway flying is unacceptable at the greatest public institution in the wealthiest state in the U.S.. One faculty job at the UC should be enough.  UC management must:

  • Reduce UC-AFT faculty turnover to provide students with optimal learning opportunities.
  • Define conditions under which appointments are temporary.
  • Ensure and enforce fair, timely, and transparent appointment and reappointment processes.
  • Establish better reappointment, performance review, and promotion criteria for competence and excellence.
  • Provide more full-time and multi-year appointments that enable us to make appropriate commitments to teaching and enhance the quality of our teaching.
  • Improve access to continuing appointments and other long-term career pathways.
  • Notify us of appointments, reappointments, and non-reappointments with sufficient time to prepare to teach or find another academic job.
  • Increase protections against layoffs.

Unpaid Labor

UC-AFT faculty are often expected to perform many kinds of labor outside the classroom that benefit the University and our profession, including unpaid duties that are associated with teaching, research, and/or service. The compensated duties of UC-AFT faculty should be well-defined and inclusive of all work that is generally recognized as necessary for the responsible stewardship of the role.  UC management must authorize and compensate all our work, including but not limited to:

  • Advising and mentoring students and colleagues;
  • Participating in shared governance policy- and decision-making;
  • Performing service to our departments, campuses, and communities;
  • Pursuing professional development;
  • Writing letters of recommendation;
  • Teaching independent studies;
  • Developing courses and curricula.

Faculty Diversity and Equity

UC-AFT faculty are more likely than tenure-track faculty to be women and people of color.  We are important resources for first-generation and underrepresented students.  Our second-class status harms not only ourselves, but the students who rely on us.  UC management must:

  • Include us in faculty diversity and equity initiatives.
  • Close gender- and race-based wage gaps.
  • Provide students with a real voice in their education instead of allowing student evaluations of teaching to perpetuate racism and sexism.
  • Include us in faculty rosters, faculty meetings, and decisions about undergraduate education.
  • Cultivate a family-friendly work environment with policies that support and accommodate UC-AFT faculty who are parents and caregivers.
  • Open access to programs and facilities that tenure-track faculty benefit from, such as housing and mortgage assistance, child care centers, and parking subsidies.
  • Stop challenging our valid unemployment insurance claims and clawing back unemployment benefits we receive after we’ve been laid off.

Clear and Consistent Rights for K-12 Faculty

Our bargaining unit includes K-12 faculty across UC campuses who are committed to educating young students, with whom they work under exceptional circumstances.  Our contract must specify the unique rights and responsibilities entailed in primary and secondary education. UC management must:

  • Provide market-driven and equitable salaries.
  • Establish sensible titles for K-12 faculty at the UC.
  • Agree to fair and equitable working hours and responsibilities.
  • Include counselors within the K-12 community.
  • Commit to class sizes that promote student learning and support and provide resources for students with additional learning needs.

Union Rights

Our members deserve to understand how they fit into their department and campus and to know that they have a union that cares about their welfare.  We must be able to represent our members effectively and fulfill our legal duty to represent all members fairly.  UC management must: 

  • Ensure that every UC-AFT faculty member receives a new faculty orientation with information tailored to our academic work and adequate union consultation.
  • Provide more paid release time to members for union service.
  • Respect our First Amendment rights and the demands of conscience to support our fellow UC workers during work stoppages.
  • Improve the grievance process to make problem-solving more effective and efficient.

These goals above represent our members' most urgent concerns, but they are not exhaustive.  We will also bargain over other issues when and where our contract needs strengthening.