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UC-AFT Faculty Bargaining Update #25 August 19 Zoom


UC-AFT Faculty Bargaining Session #25

August 19, 2020



“I Will Not Vote for a Contract that Does Not Include Job Stability”

During observer introductions, dozens of lecturers affirmed and re-affirmed to UC management’s executives and lawyers that they will not vote to ratify a contract that lacks significant improvements in pre-continuing job stability.

Management’s Article 7a Proposal Doesn’t Go Far Enough

The Article 7a-Pre-Continuing Appointments proposal we received today gives some indications that UC management is softening on job stability and moving toward us. Their proposal claims they will strengthen their commitment to a June 1 reappointment deadline for academic year appointees (those teaching all three quarters/two semesters). That’s the current deadline, but the vast majority of letters are still late.

UC management has also agreed to our proposal that Academic Personnel staff remind department chairs and department managers annually of their obligations to issue timely appointment letters.

These improvements could lead to some lecturers receiving appointments sooner than they do now. Still, at other colleges and universities, including multi-campus state universities like the UC, appointment decisions are made much earlier in the spring. Management’s proposal still rejects our reasonable and common sense demand that department chairs notify people who are not being reappointed, which is industry standard throughout higher education.

We also continued discussion over management’s proposal for the euphemistically-named “opportunity list,” for which we would submit a list of courses we’re qualified to teach. Many of us already do this informally or through re-applying to teach our own jobs. Department chairs would be under no obligation to assign work based on the list, i.e., it would not guarantee the creation of any new opportunities that don’t exist now. Our bargaining team continued to press for real, meaningful job stability.

What management proposed today are relatively minor changes that may contribute in a limited way to improved appointment practices but won’t guarantee a shift in policy or culture toward fewer job losses or respect and dignity for our work.

One of our bargaining team members put it this way: “I think our frustration is that this 7A proposal is not seriously looking at our proposal: real seniority and rehiring rights. It falls extremely short of that. It’s not necessarily that this type of opportunity list would be bad for us or worse for us than it already is.This just comes nowhere close to what we’re proposing, which is real job security and rehiring rights.”

Improving Summer Sessions Benefits

In their counterproposal for Article 11--Benefits, UC management has heard our argument that it’s unacceptable to completely exclude summer session teaching from benefits eligibility. In their proposal, they are offering a slight expansion of the Benefits Bridge, a program we won in 2003 to help lecturers who were teaching in the spring keep their health insurance over the summer. Under the current program, lecturers A) have to have a written offer of appointment for a later term before the spring term ends (typically an appointment letter for the fall); and B) have to pay all premiums (both employee and employer contributions) throughout the summer.

Now, under UC management’s proposal, the above still applies if you’re not teaching summer session. If you are teaching summer session, you: A) do not need to have a written offer of future appointment, and B) UC will pay the employer premiums during the time on payroll for summer session teaching.

We have also won UC management’s agreement that, going forward, all eligible Unit 18 faculty will receive the Summer Salary Benefit. This is the conclusion of a years-long battle to bring six campuses (Davis, Santa Cruz, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco), which have not been providing summer session retirement benefits to eligible lecturers despite the existence of a Presidential policy that mandates it for all faculty, into line with the four campuses (Berkeley, Irvine, UCLA, and Santa Barbara), which have been providing the Summer Session Retirement Benefit to eligible UC-AFT faculty. This is a victory for fair treatment of lecturers both in terms of parity with tenure-track faculty and equity from campus to campus within our bargaining unit.

Some Articles Done Today, Some For Next Time

We reached tentative agreements to maintain current contract language on two articles: Moving Expenses and Academic Calendars.

Toward the end of the session, we passed counterproposals on Article 8--Instructional Support, Article 40--Parking, and Article 31--Pre-Continuing Mentoring. The bargaining session ended before we could get into a full discussion of our proposals, so the negotiations about these articles will continue next week.