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

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The University of California is committed to providing competitive compensation, quality benefits, job stability, and fair working conditions to its Lecturers. UC highly values our lecturers and the important role they play in educating our students and in the quality of UC’s instructional mission. 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 offer their lecturers. Our current proposal to the UC-AFT builds off of and strengthens our support for our lecturers in a way that reflects our shared values.

For more than two years, UC has bargained in good faith with the UC-AFT on a new multi-year contract for lecturers and other bargaining unit members. UC has listened with an open mind to the concerns raised by the union and bargaining unit members. In response, UC has consistently offered proposals that we believe demonstrate genuine sensitivity and responsiveness to the issues, including the union’s priority issues of compensation, job stability and workload. UC believes that an agreement is long overdue and that our 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 public U.S. universities for how well it compensates its lecturers. In response to concerns raised about compensation, UC is offering the following:

  • All bargaining unit members would receive an approximate average increase of 3% (with many members receiving increases of 4.5-5.5%) in the first year of the contract, and 3% annual increases thereafter for the duration of the contract.
  • All bargaining unit members with current appointments for the 2021-22 academic year would receive a one-time lump sum ratification payment of $500 within 60 days of contract ratification.
  • Raising minimum salaries an additional approximate 5%for all pre-six Lecturers currently appointed at the entry salary rate by eliminating the lowest two salary points, plus
  • Continuing Lecturers promoted to Senior Continuing Lecturer would receive a one-time 9% increase, in addition to their usual 3% annual salary increase, for a total pay increase of 12% at the time of promotion.
  • The above pay increases would be in addition to the 6% or greater increases Continuing Lecturers currently receive every three years for meritorious performance, and the 3% increases for Pre-Six Lecturers following every reappointment.

Greater employment stability: UC is similar to other universities in its use of term-by-term appointments for lecturers with less than six years of UC teaching experience (“pre-six” lecturers). However, UC is unique in that it provides its lecturers opportunities for continuing appointments (appointments with no end date) after six years — UC is one of only two public U.S. universities in the nation that provide this level of employment stability to lecturers.

In response to pre-six lecturers’ desire for more job stability, UC has offered an appointment proposal that significantly enhances job stability for pre-six lecturers as follows:

  • Initial appointment: One-year appointment;
  • Second appointment: Two-year appointments with the same appointment percentage in each year;
  • Third appointment: Three-year appointments that, with limited exceptions, will generally have the same appointment percentage guaranteed in each year of the three-years.
  • A clear career path from a Continuing Lecturer (a lecturer with six or more years of experience) to Senior Continuing Lecturer. This represents greater job stability in the form of enhanced reemployment rights and a longer notice period in the event of a layoff.

Workload: UC has proposed greater transparency and fair assessment of workload assignments, including posting workload requirements on campus websites, and creating a labor-management committee to address concerns over workload. 

Other highlights of UC’s proposal

Specific and transparent performance review criteria: UC has heard lecturers’ concerns about performance review criteria and procedures. In response, UC has proposed more specific review criteria and transparent standards for the excellence review, merit review, and the promotional review to Senior Continuing Lecturer.

Timely and more specific appointment letters: To ensure consistency across appointment letters, UC has offered to provide appointment letters by a date certain. In addition, the appointment letters will have increased specificity, including regarding pay amounts and pay periods. 

Expanded eligibility for paid medical leave: Currently, paid medical leave is extended to bargaining unit employees with 100% appointments. UC has proposed extending it to all bargaining unit faculty with appointments of 66% or greater.

Increased support for 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 member can prepare for and/or care for a newborn child or a child placed for adoption or foster care and with the age limitation for the child removed. UC has proposed to increase the allowed time for reduced duties from two to three quarters.
  • Increased paid childbearing leave from 6 weeks to 8 weeks.
  • UC recently opted to include bargaining unit faculty as eligible employees who take a leave from work for family care and bonding, providing 70% of pay for 8 weeks. This was offered outside of the bargaining process and as a good faith gesture to our bargaining unit colleagues.

Expanded retirement and health benefits for Summer Session lecturers: UC is proposing to expand retirement and health benefits for Summer Session lecturers:

  • Summer session earnings for eligible lecturers will count toward contributions made by UC and the lecturer to UC’s Tax-Deferred 403 (b) Retirement Plan.
  • UC has proposed to pay the UC employer portion of the health benefits premium during the time an eligible Summer Session lecturer is on pay status.

Stronger health and safety provisions: To help support lecturers’ well-being during emergency situations, such as the COVID pandemic, UC has proposed a new Health, Safety and Emergency Conditions contract provision, which outlines the rights and responsibilities of UC and lecturers in the event an emergency is declared.


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