The University Council-American Federation of Teachers has reached what it is calling a historic agreement with the University of California, and averting a planned two-day walkout that was supposed to begin Wednesday.
Non-tenured professors, lecturers and some other faculty members at the nine University of California campuses, including UC Riverside, were planning a walkout today and Thursday in a dispute over several labor issues that has lasted more than two years.
Instead, the two sides agreed to a tentatively agreed to a contract that "revolutionizes the first six years of a lecturers career at the UC," according to a release from the UC-AFT.
The UC-AFT represents lecturers and adjunct professors hired on a yearly or quarterly basis, as well as librarians.
The agreement addresses a transition plan to 2022-23 appointments, job stability, review criteria, workloads, eligibility for medical leave, expanded retirement and health benefits and compensation.
The agreement includes:
- A transition plan providing job stability provisions that will take effect beginning July 1, 2022.
- Job stability with multi-year appointments in the first six years, with reviews before reappointment and the right to be reappointed if deemed effective.
- A pathway to apply to become a senior continuing lecturer.
- Specific and transparent performance review criteria.
- A $1,500 signing bonus upon ratification and 3% annual salary increments.
- Expanded eligibility for paid medical leave to all bargaining unit faculty.
- Increased support for members with children to fully paid leave of four weeks.
- Expanded retirement and health benefits for summer sessions lecturers.
- Professional development funding.
The agreement also raises the salary floor for those non-tenured employees and provides greater consistency, transparency and enforceability when it comes to workload issues.
The tentative contract is expected to be delivered to UC-AFT members for ratification within the next week or so, according to UC-AFT UCLA Chapter co-chair John Bransetter.
The planned walkout was expected to affect classes at UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Riverside and UC San Diego.
The UC-AFT is affiliated with the California Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers.
There were two unfair labor practices the UC-AFT said led to the strike authorization.
"TeamUCAFT has won transformative and groundbreaking improvements in crucial areas, including job stability, workload, and compensation,'' UC-AFT said on Twitter.
A noon celebration today is planned at UC Riverside at the bell tower near Rivera Library. Celebrations are also planned at UCLA in Bruin Plaza, UC Irvine at the Flagpoles at Aldrich Hall, and at UC San Diego in the Gilman Parking Structure.
"We’ve always wanted to keep it positive," Bransetter told NBCLA on Wednesday. "These negotiations were about the lecturers‘ working conditions and students learning conditions. Today, we’re going to celebrate the contract. It’s been a long fight to get here. It’s an amazing day."