Twitter icon
Facebook icon
RSS icon
YouTube icon


Teaching Faculty Bargaining Update: Impasse Reached, Mediation Scheduled


The California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has officially declared that our negotiations with UC management are at impasse. We enter impasse after more than two years of negotiations, having exchanged hundreds of proposals with UC management over about 50 different bargaining sessions. During this time, we’ve secured tentative agreements on 28 contract articles, which will improve our contract in meaningful ways.


Still, we started these negotiations 26 months ago with a mandate from our membership to stabilize pre-continuing appointments, to address unpaid work, and to secure wages that reflect our experience and qualifications. Unfortunately, UC’s most recent proposal on June 18, 2021, offered no provisions to address the problems of high turnover rates, lack of performance reviews, and widespread uncompensated labor. Their compensation proposal is unlikely to keep up with inflation, which would mean a pay cut for our members in terms of real purchasing power.

On May 25th, 2021, our Unit 18 faculty bargaining team passed our final contract package proposal, and we informed UC that it was our last, best, and final offer. On June 11th, we held a Q&A session so UCOP could ask questions about our final positions.

On June 15th, UC management’s response did not address our core demands on evaluation and rehiring processes, workload, or compensation.

On June 18th, UC-AFT submitted a request for determination of impasse to PERB. PERB agreed with us and declared impasse on June 25th.

Bargaining is over. Impasse is a time for action. To learn more about impasse, mediation, and fact-finding, about how our proposals compare with management’s, and about how you can get involved, join us for an Impasse Town Hall, Monday, July 12th, 3 PM - RSVP here

In California public higher education, there are two impasse procedures: mediation and fact-finding. When PERB declares impasse, it appoints a state-sponsored mediator. We have been contacted by the mediator and scheduled two full days of mediation on July 20 and 21.

This mediation is non-binding, and our experience in other non-binding PERB mediations (for example, in attempting to settle Unfair Labor Practice charges) is that UC management sometimes declines to participate in good faith. If mediation does not result in an agreement, the mediator can call for fact finding. A panel of three fact-finders (one member appointed by us, one by UC management, and a neutral panel chair appointed by PERB) will review documentation submitted by each side and produce a report with non-binding recommendations.

While impasse means that we won’t be bargaining at the negotiating table, it is possible that mediation and fact-finding will result in a settled contract. We will continue to work with UC through the impasse process to try to reach an agreement. If there is still no agreement after fact-finding, then UC can implement their last, best and final contract offer, and we gain the right to conduct a legal strike for a fair contract, a strike in which our jobs and livelihoods are protected because it’s illegal for our employer to retaliate.

We begin impasse within weeks of our historic strike authorization vote, in which, for the first time in 20 years, a majority of members voted 96% in favor of authorizing our democratically-elected negotiating team to call a strike if necessary. We will continue to organize and leverage every possible pressure on UC administrators before we get to a strike, but it’s possible that nothing less than a strike can stanch the brain drain that is depriving talented, qualified, and experienced lecturers of stable employment and fair compensation.

We need every UC-AFT member to be talking with fellow lecturers, senate faculty colleagues, and students about what is at stake with job stability and asking them to support our campaign. Members are also reaching out to legislators, parents of UC students, and alumni. We need you in this campaign! Please fill out this very quick form and let us know how you can contribute.