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UC-AFT Faculty Bargaining Update #18 Zoom May 6


UC-AFT Faculty Bargaining Session #18

April 22, 29 and May 6, 2020


This update combines information from three recent bargaining sessions held via Zoom on April 22, 29 and May 6.

Some Significant Gains in Bargaining to Date

Over the last year of bargaining, strong negotiating by our volunteer faculty bargaining team has secured several important wins. First, the UC will provide expanded paid medical leave for lecturers with an average of 66% or greater appointment over the academic year. Second, the UC will provide longer accommodations for all new parents through the Active Service-Modified Duties program. Third, the UC has agreed to a pathway for all Continuing Appointees to be promoted to Senior Lecturer. Fourth, the UC will allow some pre-continuing lecturers to receive credit toward Continuing Appointments for summer session courses. Fifth, the UC has agreed to Excellence and Merit Review criteria that are more clear and fair. We have worked hard to secure these gains despite the current crisis. Before COVID-19 hit, our persistence had also been rewarded economically: the UC had proposed increasing both the 4th-year raise for pre-continuing faculty and the raise upon passing an Excellence Review from 6% to 9%. They had agreed to increase the Professional Development Fund by a stunning 50%.

COVID Disruption and Take Backs by UC

In response to financial uncertainties resulting from COVID, the University has withdrawn these economic proposals--which, under normal conditions, they are legally bound to follow through on--and instead proposed that we end negotiations and agree to a two-year contract, through February 2022, that would mostly revert to current contract language.

In some areas, UC admin is even reneging on proposals that have no economic impact. They had agreed to extend Emeritus status to faculty retiring from Unit 18. They had agreed to include clearer information about salary and benefits in appointment letters. They have not been able to provide a justification for taking these and other non-economic offers off the table.

UC chief negotiator Nadine Fishel used the spectre of the pandemic to justify stepping back from their commitments. Fishel said, “the University is withdrawing from positions in anticipation of cuts.” When UC-AFT president Mia McIver pushed back by asking for clearer information about the anticipated drop in enrollment and revenue, Fishel and her team could not come up with concrete figures.

Our Team Shifts Focus to Job Security

McIver emphasized that layoffs would be unacceptable given the lack of financial data. “Layoffs in our bargaining unit are not appropriate until there is real budget information that can be translated into actual course and teaching needs,” she said. UC-AFT has submitted an information request for all financial data currently being considered by the university with respect to their proposals in bargaining.

In response to the University's offer of a short-term contract, our team is developing a very focused package of proposals focused on our key job security goals. COVID has exposed and intensified the precarity of our pre-continuing members. We cannot close negotiations before securing significant improvements to the rehiring process.


Alison Lipman, UCLA lecturer and volunteer member of the bargaining team, reiterated to UC admin that our members are most vulnerable during their first six years of teaching: “The threat of losing our jobs during this time is the real crisis for our members.”

If we are able to move forward with a short-term agreement, our team will work to retain the gains outlined above in addition to the job security measures. Zoom bargaining sessions are scheduled for May 15th, 22nd, and 27th from 10am-12 pm. Your virtual presence changes how UC negotiators behave...please join us! Sign up for a link to observe bargaining here.