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UC-AFT Faculty Bargaining Update #32 and #33 November 12 & 18, 2020


UC-AFT Faculty Bargaining Session #32 and #33

November 12 and 18, 2020


Yesterday afternoon in lecturer bargaining, UC-AFT members brought the power. 520 UC-AFT faculty and supporters were there to show UC management that we’re serious about teaching-focused career pathways and protecting public higher education. Major thanks to our Contract Action Team and everyone who participated.

Movement on Job Security from UC is a Good Sign, but doesn't Go Far Enough

The proposal we received yesterday from UC admin shows that they can improve lecturer job stability when we motivate them to do so. Management proposed a pre-continuing appointment structure of 1-1-2-2 academic years. In other words, if you’re reappointed twice and return for a third academic year, you would receive an appointment that spans the next two academic years. Someone who teaches for six academic years and still isn’t eligible for a continuing appointment would continue to receive 2 year appointments until they reach 18 quarters/12 semesters.

While this is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t go nearly far enough in ensuring that UC students are taught by a stable corps of well-resourced instructors. Under this proposal, those with one-quarter/one-semester appointments would continue to teach intermittently (spring only, say). There are no provisions for extending one-quarter or one-semester assignments to the full academic year, for bringing part-timers up to full-time, for providing more lecturers with health and retirement benefits, or--the most important conspicuous absence--for a fair, transparent, and consistent reappointment process when these short-term appointments end.

Without a commitment from UC admin that they will offer available work to qualified and competent faculty in good standing before recruiting new candidates, most lecturers will not be retained long enough to even be eligible for a two-year appointment.

Management Proposes a Five-Year Contract after Months of Two-Year Contract Proposals

Plus, UC management wants a 5-year contract despite not having made any proposals to address problems we've laid out for them in workload, summer sessions, online instruction, and other areas. Because collective bargaining is our opportunity to improve our working conditions and our students’ learning conditions, a 5-year contract means we would waive the ability to make any improvements for the next five years. A 5-year contract would require truly exceptional gains to make that trade-off worth it.

Member Participation is Making the Difference

Nevertheless, our bargaining team was encouraged that this was real progress in negotiations that brings us closer to an agreement. UC management is responding positively to our campaign actions. Those of you who have emailed, called, emailed again, picketed, posted, rallied, and car/bike caravaned across the state are making it happen. And if you haven’t yet, now’s a great time to join our historic campaign.

The lesson we take from today is that the pressure is working, and that UC management clearly has more room to move. We know that they're responsive when members like you make their voices heard, so we have to keep the pressure on.