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UC-AFT Faculty Bargaining Update #13 UC Irvine January 22-23, 2020


UC-AFT Faculty Bargaining Session #13

January 22-23, 2020

UC Irvine


Tentative Agreement Reached on Article 38 Severability

A tentative agreement (TA) is reached when both sides accept proposed language for an article and agree to set it aside until agreement is reached on all other articles.

Our tentative agreement on Article 38 Severability clarifies the process for reopening contract negotiations when a change in law necessitates a change in our contract. The most recent examples of Severability coming into play were when the Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME decision resulted in renegotiation of Article 27 Payroll Deduction and when a new state law passed requiring public employers to negotiate the terms of new employee orientations. Severability is not the most exciting article to TA, but the new language is an improvement in our contract, and the TA moves negotiations forward.

UC Admin Maintains Proposal to Remove Reappointment Rights from Contract

Couched in a lot of insincere verbiage about moving negotiations toward an agreement, UC gave us a package of proposals mostly composed of current contract language (CCL). UC’s team largely ignored our previous proposals on these same articles and decided not to respond to the numerous problems and issues our proposals attempt to address. Discouraging as that may be, it’s a common management strategy and we are prepared to continue working toward improvements in many of these articles.

Their proposal for Article 7a Pre-Continuing Appointment and Reappointment maintains their position that the reappointment process is not negotiable. It’s essential to understand that this is an entirely new position by the university. Reappointment process has been in our contract for many, many years. And, our 7a proposal, which is part of our core demands in these negotiations, dramatically strengthens reappointment rights for pre-continuing and part-time faculty.

UC passed (across the table) proposals on the following articles during this session: Article 2 Academic Freedom, Article 7a Pre-Six Appointments and Reappointment, Article 17 Layoff, and they re-proposed Article 28 Management Rights, Article 35 No Strikes/No Lockout, Article 36 Past Practice and Article 37 Waiver as CCL.

Our Proposals...A Better Way Forward on Disagreements Over Academic Judgement

On Article 13 Travel, our proposal clarifies that the G28 Travel Policy applies to our members. It also assigns financial accountability to the University for late or delayed reimbursement for expenses incurred while traveling for University business or funded professional activities.

On Article 16 Medical Separation, our proposal seeks to reorient the medical separation process from a staff model to a faculty oriented procedure based in the Academic Personnel Manual (APM), which better accommodates academic schedules and appointments. While rare, medical separation can be devastating - teaching faculty undergoing medical separation are liable to lose their income and health insurance, precisely when they need it the most. We are also fighting for severance pay, where currently there is none, as well as the right to reemployment for members who are medically separated.

On Article 17 Layoff, our proposal strengthens seniority rights. In cases when the university wants to lay off a more senior faculty member but retain a less senior faculty member, our proposal shifts the burden to the University to demonstrate that the less senior appointee is substantially more qualified than a more senior appointee. Any arbitration filed over this issue would have an Academic Review Panel to consider the academic judgement aspects of the case for the arbitrator. Finally, our proposal strengthens layoff notice and reemployment rights in a new table structured on our successive 1 yr, 2yr and 3yr appointment durations for pre-continuing faculty found in our Article 7a proposal.

On Article 37 Waiver, our proposal addresses woefully inadequate current contract language in this article, which leaves much to the university’s discretion. Waiver clarifies whether or not, or the extent to which an APM policy applies to our members. The contract supersedes the APM, but the APM covers a wide range of policy relevant and important to our members. So, it’s critical to have clarity about when and how the APM applies.