Twitter icon
Facebook icon
RSS icon
YouTube icon

Recent Lecturer Bargaining: Janus and AB 866 Effects & PSOE Unit Modification Discussion

September 7th, 2018​
UCOP Offices in Oakland, CA

The main purpose of these negotiations was to hear UC admin’s justification for attempting to remove six job titles from our union. Earlier this summer, we received notice that management intends to deprive part-time Lecturers with Potential Security of Employment (LPSOEs) of union representation. There are currently no people appointed into these job titles, but we anticipate that management is looking to use these positions to increase contingent part-time appointments in the future. Without the guaranteed protection of a union contract, faculty in these job titles could be subject to more forced turnover.

Staff from Academic Personnel could not provide a coherent justification for why they are attempting this bargaining unit modification now. They told us that they intend for these job titles to be populated by full-time LPSOEs who voluntarily reduce their appointment percentage for medical or family reasons or in order to increase their appointment percentage in an administrative job title. Under management’s plan, these people would be represented by the Academic Senate instead of our union.

We said that we have no objection to any faculty’s simultaneous membership in both bodies. In fact, we believe that it’s unconscionable that UC admin currently excludes one-third of its faculty (i.e., lecturers) from membership in the Academic Senate. We proposed that one way to move forward with admin’s plan is to revise the language in our current contract that defines UC-AFT representation and Senate membership as mutually exclusive. UCOP’s negotiator rejected this idea.

We have many more questions about the work that these part-time Lecturers with Security of Employment will be doing, and how it will impact our members’ work. We have communicated to the Academic Senate our serious concerns that expansion of this series will severely marginalize lecturers. If UCOP fails to answer our questions and satisfy our concerns, they are entitled to take the matter to the Public Employee Relations Board for resolution.

On September 7th, we also continued our discussions about payroll deductions and new employee orientations. UC Labor Relations staff passed us a proposal for payroll deductions that did not account for current law or our own proposal. They were still unable to answer our questions about payroll processes and deadlines. We hope that their next proposal will be more attentive to detail.

We did make significant progress on new employee orientations. UC admin agreed to stop labeling orientations as voluntary in their announcements, agreed to include information about orientations in appointment letters and emails, and accepted our language for a notification email. They rejected our request to include information about UC-AFT-sponsored orientations in their announcements about management-sponsored orientations. They also refused to stop scheduling competing orientation events during our union’s presentation.

We are still fighting to ensure that orientations take place on main campuses. At UC Santa Cruz and UCLA, holding orientations off campus depresses attendance and prevents us from getting the information we need to do our jobs well. We have not heard a single coherent reason for why these orientations are being held off campus, so we can only conclude that management is intentionally trying to avoid treating lecturers as full-fledged faculty. This is unacceptable, so we will continue to push back to ensure that we are all welcomed to campus and given the orientation we need to succeed.

August 13th, 2018
UC Irvine

Today we continued our bargaining over payroll deductions and new employee orientations (NEOs). The day was largely frustrating. We came prepared with two proposals for revised contract language. UC admin’s negotiator did not respond to either. Instead of discussing our ideas for Article 27—Payroll Deductions, she proposed that we sign a side letter covering the next six to nine months. This was far from ideal, but we reluctantly agreed to work on it in the interest of reaching an agreement. At the end of the day, UC admin’s negotiator—the person who drafted the side letter—refused to sign it because she said that she herself had too many outstanding questions.

We left the table with a verbal agreement to begin submitting our membership lists to payroll and Labor Relations staff to start or stop payroll deductions.

Despite the urgency in reaching a revised agreement on NEOs before the academic year starts, UC admin’s negotiator failed to respond to our NEO proposal at all. We were extremely disappointed that management did not come prepared to make progress at this bargaining session.

July 13th, 2018
UCOP Offices in Oakland, CA

On Friday, July 13th, two important meetings were happening within blocks of each other in Oakland. At the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB), we were working with our sister UC unions to reach a settlement with UC admin over an Unfair Practice charge. Meanwhile, at the Labor Relations division of the UC Office of the President, we began negotiating over the effects of the Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME and the recently-passed CA Senate Bill 866, which protects our rights to control our own membership records and member contact information.

We filed the Unfair Practice charge after UC admin violated a CA state law requiring public employers to negotiate with union members before sending mass communications about our rights. The law was passed to ensure that public employees aren’t intimidated by employers’ union-busting. In defiance of this law, UC admin sent a letter and FAQ sheet that represented a management-only perspective on our freedom to be union members. We believe it was sent with the intent to discourage faculty and librarians from supporting our union, so we filed a formal complaint with PERB. UC admin did not agree to settle with us on July 13th, so we will be continuing talks the week of August 6th.

A short distance away, our bargaining team of lecturers from Berkeley, Davis, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and UCLA sat down with executives and lawyers from UCOP Labor Relations to discuss how member enrollments, payroll deductions of dues, and new employee orientations will work in the future. We now control our own membership records instead of having UC admin determine who is a member. However, we were unable to reach agreement about the timing of or method for submitting membership lists to payroll for processing.

Labor Relations did agree to refund all agency fees to non-members for the month of June, but they are trying to charge us a fee for complying with the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which we flatly object to paying.

Because anti-worker organizations are obtaining union members’ contact information from public employers in order to attack us for exercising our right to stand together, we insisted that UCOP protect our members’ privacy and not release members’ names or contact info to third parties. They were unable to answer our question about whether they have already been contacted with such requests.

Finally, we shared with Labor Relations how ineffective their new faculty orientations were this past spring. We believe that, by holding orientations off campus and at inconvenient times, scheduling competing events at the same time as orientation, failing to adequately inform new faculty of the opportunity for orientation, and failing to offer information of interest to faculty, UC admin is trying to suppress attendance at orientations and thereby obstruct faculty from fully understanding their rights and responsibilities. Labor Relations expressed a willingness to improve orientations in the future but refused to commit to any particular action.

Given how little Labor Relations was willing to resolve on July 13th, we will be meeting again in August to try to arrive at concrete solutions to the outstanding problems. Between now and then, please be in touch with your campus UC-AFT leaders to share your thoughts on these matters.