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UC-AFT Victory: Unfair Labor Practice Confirmed...Remote Work Relief In Sight


We are announcing today a big step forward in our ongoing effort to get UC management to operate in good faith and to comply with our contract.


We have secured a Complaint from the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) regarding UC admin’s refusal to address increased workload or provide instructional support for remote instruction during COVID. The Complaint is an initial determination that there is sufficient evidence for our case to go forward. It means we’ve cleared an important legal threshold as we seek to hold UC admin accountable for what they’ve already agreed to in our contract: compensate UC-AFT faculty for additional work required to move and teach courses online during COVID, and reimburse for reasonably necessary out of pocket instructional resource costs.


This potentially pivotal moment belongs to you all. The Unfair Practice Complaint issued by PERB puts UC managers on warning that they cannot repudiate their obligations under our expired Unit 18 contract while we negotiate a new one. Here's the story in brief, please read through.


COVID Negotiations over Workload and Instructional Support

In spring 2020, UC management’s negotiators refused to negotiate over our proposals regarding workload increases and instructional support. UC admin also refused to abide by the status quo under our expired contract, which requires that UC provide workload credit for additional work and reimbursement for instruction-related expenses. UC has refused to apply these requirements to remote work during COVID.


Workload and Instructional Support Surveys

In May 2020, we started surveying members about workload changes and instructional support costs. 89% of respondents to our initial survey reported a workload increase. 60% of respondents reported out of pocket costs for instructional support resources, and the vast majority were unreimbursed. The survey results illustrate that many of our members were denied instructional support, and we know that many were never informed of their right to resources or of a process for requesting them.


Workload and Instructional Support Grievances Filed

When management refused to negotiate over these topics, and campus administrators refused to work with us to implement current contract language, we filed grievances on every campus to force the University to maintain the status quo from our expired contract. We have appealed the grievances through the three step process to the UC Office of the President, where they were denied.


Unfair Labor Practice Charge Filed

On September 14, 2020, we filed this unfair labor practice charge with PERB. On March 4, PERB issued a Complaint against UC, recognizing our claim that UC management violated labor law by repudiating the terms of our most recent contract. This is a big step forward and will force UC management to a settlement hearing where we will propose a remedy that would bring justice for our members.


Our Goals

We are fighting to address the rights of all Unit 18 instructors who have taught online since the COVID closure began. We are asking PERB to make all of those instructors whole, including through course equivalencies and reimbursements. We expect UC admin to continue to fight by exhausting appeals at PERB. This process will take a while, but we've reached a critical step toward making our members whole! We can't promise anything yet, other than to keep fighting until we have an outcome that honors our rights and our work.