In bargaining with UC-AFT on Friday, March 13th, the chief spokesperson for the Office of the President, Nadine Fishel, said to our volunteer faculty negotiators, “The one thing we’re telling you very clearly is you all have jobs, if you were hired for spring.” All UC-AFT members need to act now to hold UC admin accountable to that promise and prevent layoffs of teaching faculty.
Our UC-AFT union contract campaign is centered around three issues:
- Middle Class Wages
- Job Security, and
- Ending Unpaid Work (including service and professional development work).
Members are participating in three escalating actions that will demonstrate our solidarity on these issues to UC admin. We know that the UC will use wage offers to try and undermine our other goals, but we are determined to make progress in all three areas. This week, we are contacting the administration about job security.
While the UC-AFT strike of 2003 won the potential for lectures to achieve a relatively secure continuing status, even now, about 76% of UC-AFT teaching faculty are pre-continuing lecturers with almost no job security. The systemwide yearly turnover rate is 26%, meaning 1600 UC-AFT faculty no longer have their jobs each year. On individual campuses, that rate rises to as high as 45%. At UCLA alone, 700 teaching faculty who taught during 2018-2019 did not return for 2019-2020. Whether they were effectively fired without cause through short-term contracts, or conditions pushed them to seek other jobs, this level of turnover is disastrous for students who need their teachers and mentors to be available long-term.
Precarious, pre-continuing lecturers are vulnerable to effective dismissal for any perceived personal or political misstep. This creates a chilling effect that inhibits full and vigorous teaching of complex and controversial issues – that is, it profoundly undermines academic freedom. This is in addition to the obvious lack of economic security, and the difficulties we all face in planning our futures.
Our bargaining team has proposed:
- Standard pre-continuing sequence of 1 year, then 2 year, then 3 year appointments (may be modified by individual departments to be more generous)
- Career path from initial hire as pre-continuing lecturer to continuing lecturer to senior lecturer (after another six-year merit review)
- Available classes will be assigned to current faculty with a demonstrated record of effective teaching before new faculty are hired
- Augmentation of qualified current part-time faculty to full-time before new part-time faculty are hired (may be declined without penalty)
- Full-time, full academic year appointment after 9 quarters or 6 semesters of part-time/term-by-term appointments (may be declined without penalty)
- Full academic year reappointment for faculty who received term-by-term appointments for all terms of the previous academic year
- Fair, transparent, and consistent reappointment criteria based on research-established best practices for evaluating effective teaching.
- Service credit retention for all teaching work across different departments and campuses
- Accrual of service credit toward continuing appointments for summer session teaching for those who do not have full academic year appointments
- Defined and limited conditions under which emergency and last-second appointments are acceptable
- Defined and limited conditions under which single term appointments are acceptable
- Advance notice of non-reappointment that includes the reason for non-reappointment
- Advance notice of appointments, reappointments, and non-reappointments with sufficient time to prepare to teach or find another academic job
- Longer layoff notice and pay-in-lieu-of-notice periods
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