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Facts about UC lecturers and UC’s contract negotiations with the UC-AFT

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UC highly values its lecturers and the essential role they play in educating our students and enriching our campus communities. This high regard is reflected in the fact that UC lecturers enjoy some of the best pay, benefits and working conditions in the country, and a level of employment stability that only a select few universities in the nation extend to their lecturers.

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For more than two years, UC has been bargaining in good faith with the UC-AFT on a new multi-year contract covering lecturers and other members of the bargaining unit. Throughout negotiations, UC has made proposals that we believe recognize lecturers’ valuable contributions to UC and our students. UC believes an agreement is long overdue and that lecturers deserve the stability of a multi-year contract.

The following is a summary of UC’s current proposal for a five-year contract:

  • Compensation: UC is ranked among the top three AAU universities for how well it compensates its lecturers. The UC systemwide average full-time salary rate for lecturers is also higher than average lecturer salaries in the California State University and California Community Colleges systems. Highlights of UC’s enhanced compensation proposal:
    • For fiscal years 2021-23:
      • Increase the minimum of the salary range for pre-six lecturers by approximately 5%. This means that pre-six lecturers at the bottom of the salary range will receive a 2.5%-5% salary increase.
      • UC will also apply a 3% range adjustment to the entire bargaining unit. This means that all bargaining unit members are guaranteed a minimum of a 3% increase, and that pre-six lecturers at the bottom of the salary range will receive approximately a 5.5%-8% increase.
      • Effective January 1, 2022, UC would transition from a salary range to a salary scale. All bargaining unit faculty not currently on a designated salary point would be moved to the nearest point that is higher than their current annual salary rate. This represents an additional increase of approximately 1.3% to bargaining unit salaries.
      • UC has also offered to apply a 1% salary scale adjustment, effective July 1, 2022.
    • For fiscal years 2023-26: UC is offering 3% guaranteed salary scale adjustments for each year.
    • A minimum 9% increase when a Continuing Lecturer is promoted to Senior Continuing Lecturer.
  • Greater employment stability: UC is not unique in the way it appoints pre-six lecturers – other universities also provide term-by-term appointments, one-year appointments, or up to a maximum of two-year appointments during the first six years of employment. However, UC is unique in that it provides for continuing appointments after six years (i.e., appointments with no end date). UC is one of only two universities in the nation that provide this level of employment stability to lecturers. In addition, UC is now proposing to increase pre-six lecturer appointments to two years following the first two years. UC has offered:
    • Following the first two one-year appointments, any subsequent reappointments of pre-six lecturers would be for two-year terms with the same appointment percentage guaranteed in each year of the two-years.
    • Under certain circumstances, a pre-six lecturer can count Summer Session courses toward eligibility for a Continuing Appointment, thus advancing the timeline under which a pre-six lecturer may achieve Continuing status.
    • UC is also proposing a career path from a Continuing Lecturer to Senior Continuing Lecturer that includes increased job stability in the form of greater reemployment rights and a longer notice period in the event of a layoff.
  • Expanded eligibility for paid medical leave: UC has proposed expanding paid medical leave to include bargaining unit employees with appointments of 66% or greater (currently, only bargaining unit employees with 100% appointments are eligible for paid medical leave).
  • 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 bargaining unit employee 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 and removed the age restriction.
    • UC proposed an increase in paid childbearing leave from 6 to 8 weeks.
    • Although UC and the U-AFT continue to engage in active bargaining, UC extended the new Pay for Family Care and Bonding program to lecturers, effective July 1, 2021. Eligible lecturers will receive 70% of their pay when they are on FML leave for family care and bonding.
  • New health and safety article: To help support lecturers’ well-being during emergency situations, such as the COVID pandemic, UC proposed a new Health, Safety and Emergency Conditions contract provision. The new provision outlines the rights and responsibilities of UC and lecturers in the event an emergency is declared.
  • Retirement and health benefits for Summer Session Lecturers:
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Specific and Transparent Review Criteria: Revised review criteria for the excellence review, merit review, and the promotional review to Senior Continuing Lecturer with more specific and transparent standards.
  • Timely Appointment Letters: To address concerns about late appointment letters, UC would provide appointment letters by a date certain. In addition, the appointment letters will have increased specificity, including regarding pay amounts and pay periods.
  • Professional development funding: UC increased the amount in the professional development fund pool from $200 per FTE to $250 per FTE.