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UC-AFT Faculty Bargaining Update #3 UC Berkeley June 19


UC-AFT Faculty Bargaining Session #3
June 19th, 2019
UC Berkeley

We Packed the Room: Amazing show of support from faculty, students & librarians!

The good news from our third bargaining session was the display of support inside and outside of the negotiating room. We packed the room with lecturers, librarians, students, and other union allies who shared their tremendous energy with the UC-AFT bargaining team. We witnessed heartfelt and emotional testimonials from UC-AFT faculty who are suffering economically, physically, and psychologically from lack of job security and uncertain health benefits. One member testified about how an arbitrary decision to take away her classes deprived her family of health insurance despite multiple cancer diagnoses. During our noon rally, more than 90 members and advocates gathered outside University Hall to sing songs of solidarity and demonstrate that we share a common goal of a dignified job. Our growing and visible power is crucial to show the University admin that our table team is not bargaining in a vacuum, but rather on behalf of an engaged membership and with the support of allies across campus and the state.


Pre-Six Appointments: UC’s plan for insecure and disposable academic labor


The bad news from bargaining is that UC negotiators proposed eliminating existing protections for pre-six lecturers, reinforcing their view of UC-AFT faculty as dispensable workers in an academic gig economy.

  • Their Pre-Six Appointments proposal would erase reappointment from our contract, confirming their position that pre-six lecturers should be thrown back into a pool of applicants each year without any consideration of our relationships with students, past performance, or prior service to the University.
  • They want complete freedom to get rid of teaching faculty before we’re eligible for the security of continuing appointments. They propose striking contract language that prohibits forced turnover and gives every UC-AFT faculty member a fair shot at a continuing appointment. When, not believing our eyes and ears, we asked “The University is striking all reappointment procedures that lead to a continuing appointment?” UCOP’s chief negotiator responded, “Right.”
  • Throughout the day, UC negotiators forcefully repeated their position that they owe nothing to pre-continuing lecturers. Their position is that even those faculty whom they’re not rehiring don’t deserve to know that they’ll need to look for another job. They told us to assume we won’t be reappointed. In their own words: “Don’t bother to ask us [whether you’ll be reappointed]--we’re not going to need your services.” In attempting to remove all language about evaluation criteria and rehiring processes from our contract, they showed that they want the power to arbitrarily let us go without transparency or fairness.

Pre-Continuing Appointments: UC-AFT’s vision for secure & stable appointments

Our vision for faculty appointments is a trajectory that recognizes our contributions to our departments, campuses and fields, and that advances our careers as faculty at UC. Job security is vital for student success, faculty well-being, and for the integrity of the teaching mission of the University. We are better educators when we are not constantly worrying about whether we will be employed the following year, or whether our health benefits will be cut off unexpectedly.

  • We advanced the idea that currently-employed lecturers would be given the first option to teach classes before the University opts to hire less experienced, outside personnel to fill open positions.
  • We proposed multi-year pre-continuing appointments, with an initial one-year minimum appointment and subsequent two year and three year appointments leading to a continuing review and ongoing appointment.
  • We proposed giving more UC-AFT faculty the opportunity to teach full time, which would move our members toward financial stability and allow us to commit our time and energy to the education of our students rather than constantly seeking and applying for other jobs.

UC negotiators know that job security is one of our top priorities and, best case scenario, they are hoping that a radical takeaway in their initial proposal for Article 7a Pre-Continuing Appointments will drag out the bargaining process and ultimately result in a status quo agreement. Worst case scenario, they actually want to strip pre-continuing appointees of all reemployment rights. In either case, a robust response from the UC-AFT membership is in order to demonstrate our collective support for Faculty Equity and Student Success.


With your help, our team will continue to fight on behalf of all 6,000 UC-AFT faculty in the UC system. You can get involved by showing up to your local’s activities and following us on social media. We are stronger together. @ucaft


Sincerely and in solidarity,

Your Table Team, feeling encouraged, inspired, and fueled by an energized membership.

Mia McIver

Ben Brown

Tiffany Page

Matt Oliver

Stacy Steinberg

Veronica Christie

Alison Lipman

Kat Lewin

Jon Keeperman

Stephanie Wilms

Ben Harder

Rolf Johansson