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UC-AFT Faculty Bargaining Update #19 Zoom May 15


UC-AFT Faculty Bargaining Session #19

May 15, 2020



Click here to sign-up to join the May 22 bargaining session.

Full Contract Bargaining Continues with Focus on Career Pathways for All Lecturers

During the session, our UC-AFT team pressed the UC’s administrators on their proposal for a new career path to Senior Continuing Lecturer. While we’re happy that management agrees with us that such a promotional opportunity is important for lecturers’ continued growth and career development, their most recent proposal would not permit many continuing lecturers to actually move up. Their proposal does not provide for a salary increase upon promotion and maintains a nearly impossible (and vague) standard of “exceptional” performance in order to attain the title. UC admin’s proposal effectively means higher demands than senate faculty face in a tenure review, without the corresponding opportunities for raises that senate faculty enjoy. In response to our queries, the UC negotiating team clarified that they are not planning to shift standards already in place for the Continuing Appointment.

UC-AFT Passes Job Stability Package

We passed a package of 19 (!) articles including academic freedom, academic responsibility, non-discrimination, pre-continuing appointments, academic review criteria, initial continuing appointment review, continuing appointment, senior continuing appointments, discipline and dismissal, layoff and reduction in time, and more. Below is a snapshot of our main proposals, all of which are modified versions of proposals we have presented over the past year:

Rehiring Rights for Pre-Continuing Faculty
Pre-continuing faculty who have been evaluated and found qualified would be offered available classes before new faculty are hired. Those who want full-time appointments and are qualified to teach the available classes would be appointed at 100% before additional faculty are hired.

Multi-Year Contracts
The typical lecturer would receive an initial one-year appointment, followed by a two-year appointment, followed by a three-year appointment. This would apply to those teaching intermittently, i.e., a two-year appointment might include teaching just in spring quarter for each of those two years.

Senior Continuing Lecturer
Following a third consecutive positive merit review, continuing lecturers would be promoted to Senior Continuing Lecturer.

Student Evaluations of Teaching
Only qualitative responses to open-ended questions would be used in performance reviews. Individual faculty would have the right to remove inaccurate non-evaluative comments.

Notice of Non-Reappointment
If the University is not renewing someone’s appointment, they would notify the faculty well in advance to permit for another job search.

Appointment Letters
Unit 18 members will be issued letters of appointment, re-appointment, or non-appointment for the next academic year by April 1st and will receive $200 compensation for each calendar month that the letter is received past the deadline.

Longer notice and pay-in-lieu-of-notice timelines for layoffs and reductions in time.

Academic Freedom and Academic Responsibility
UC-AFT faculty would be guaranteed the same balance of professional rights and responsibilities as senate faculty who teach. This has important implications for protecting our academic freedom and our right to due process in disciplinary situations.

Academic Review Criteria
We have proposed a new article setting out the criteria and materials to be used for Initial Continuing Appointment Reviews (a more accurate name than “Excellence Review”). The goal is to make the process more clear and more fair by setting out consistent expectations for both lecturers and administrators.

Temporary Augmentation
Create opportunities for part-time faculty to teach additional courses to reach 100%.

Discipline and Dismissal
A system of progressive discipline that begins with informal warnings and proceeds through several intermediate steps before escalating to possible dismissal. Would distinguish between processes for addressing alleged academic deficiencies and alleged misconduct.

More opportunities for early-career faculty to be oriented and learn from later career faculty, including being paired with a designated mentor in the department.

Salary Increases for Pre-Continuing and Continuing Faculty
On April 29th, UC admin passed us a package proposal that withdrew from all economic offers they had previously put on the bargaining table and which are usually legally binding. That means they are reneging on the commitments they had made to A) increase the 4th-year raise for pre-continuing faculty from 6% to 9%, and B) increase the standard merit increase upon attaining a continuing appointment from 6% to 9%. While we understand the budget picture quite clearly, employers have an obligation to substantiate the financial exigencies that lead them to withdraw proposals with compelling evidence. While we wait for UC admin to open the books, our proposals continue to reflect the increases they had previously offered.

We launched this contract campaign more than a year ago with the clear goal of improving career opportunities for Unit 18 faculty at all stages, notably in reducing the yearly purge of pre-continuing lecturers. While COVID-19 makes negotiating over economics more challenging, we remain committed to winning improvements in job stability. With much higher teaching loads than senate faculty, we are the ones who have been maintaining the University’s essential educational continuity throughout the COVID-19 crisis. In return, we need employment continuity from the University.