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Bargaining update for lecturers/Unit 18 members

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Dear colleague:

It’s been several months since my last communication to you, and I want to update you on our efforts to negotiate a fair contract with the UC-AFT for you and your Unit 18 colleagues.

As you may know, the university has been bargaining with the UC-AFT for more than a year and a half, and we believe a contract is long overdue. You and your colleagues play an essential instructional role in educating our students and deserve the stability that a contract offers, especially during these uncertain and chaotic times.

Throughout negotiations, UC has offered UC-AFT leaders numerous proposals that we believe recognize your many contributions to UC and our students. We think our more recent offers have been especially fair in light of the significant impacts employers everywhere are facing because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here is a summary of UC’s current proposal for a five-year contract proposal, which we think is very fair and are encouraging the union to accept: 

  • Compensation: Beginning July 1, 2022, UC will transition from a salary range to a salary scale, which will result in salary increases for members of the bargaining unit and greater transparency. In subsequent years of the agreement, UC has offered to provide 2% salary scale adjustments for each year of the agreement. Given UC’s current budget crisis, we think this is a generous offer of guaranteed increases.
  • Improved job stability:
    • Following the first two years of employment, any subsequent appointments of pre-six lecturers will be two-year appointments. While course assignment and appointment percentage may vary over the two-year period, lecturers can count on UC employment.
    • A career path from a Continuing Lecturer to Senior Continuing Lecturer, which is an excellent improvement to recognizing the valuable contributions of Unit 18 instructors.  Additionally, UC has offered greater job security for Senior Continuing Lecturers. Currently, in the event of a layoff, all Continuing Lecturers receive a one-year notice or pay in lieu of notice, as well as two years of reemployment rights. UC proposed that once a Continuing Lecturer achieves Senior Continuing Lecturer status, their reemployment rights will be increased to three years.
    • Under certain circumstances, a lecturer can count Summer Session courses toward eligibility for a Continuing Appointment. 
  • Enhanced paid medical leave: Currently, paid medical leave is extended only to unit members with 100% appointments. UC has proposed extending it to unit members with appointments of 66% or greater. Additionally, paid medical leave usage currently is two quarters or one semester in the first 10 years of employment (three quarters or two semesters in the subsequent 10 years), with any partial usage counting as a full quarter or semester of usage. UC offered the union 22 weeks in the first 10 years (36 weeks in the subsequent 10 years), and allowing for usage across multiple quarters/semesters during the 10-year span. 
  • Increased support for unit members with children: Currently, UC allows for a reduction in normal duties for up to two quarters/two semesters as a part of active service-modified duties so a unit member can prepare for and/or care for a newborn child or a child under age five (5) newly placed for adoption or foster care. UC offered to increase the allowed time for reduced duties from two to three quarters. 
  • Retirement and health benefits for Summer Session Lecturers: 
    • Lecturers are already compensated in the same manner as other academic appointees who teach in summer session. However, they have not been treated the same for retirement benefits. UC proposed that summer session earnings for eligible lecturers shall count toward contributions made by UC and the lecturer to UC’s Tax-Deferred 403 (b) Plan, in the same manner as other academic appointees who teach in summer session.
    • The University will pay the UC employer portion of the health benefits premium during the time an eligible Summer Session Lecturer is on pay status.
  • Review Criteria: Revised review criteria for the excellence review, merit review, and the promotional review to Senior Continuing Lecturer.
  • Appointment Letters: Appointment letters will be provided by a date certain. In addition, the appointment letters will have increased specificity, including regarding pay amounts and pay periods.

We are doing everything on our side of the bargaining to get you a fair contract as quickly as possible, but an agreement requires compromise from both sides. We will continue to keep you informed about our efforts. 

As always, thank you for your dedication and many contributions to UC and the people we serve.


Peter Chester
Executive Director
Systemwide Labor Relations