Instead of drawing up a new contract before the University Council-American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT) contract expired on Oct. 31, UC-AFT agreed with University of California representatives to extend lecturer’s contract until Dec. 10. Negotiations will continue until then to settle on a new contract for the 4,000 UC lecturers and 300 librarians.
“[We] are not hopeful the university will be forthcoming with our substantive requests,” said UC-AFT president and continuing lecturer Roxi Power.
UC-AFT demands better working and learning conditions in public higher education. On Oct. 30, after nine hours of waiting, UC-AFT bargainers said in a statement that they were offered a one percent increase in salary for those starting their fourth year as lecturers — from 5 to 6 percent. The UC also reduced the maximum workload for lecturers in writing and language instruction on the semester campuses from six classes per year to five.
In a statement, the UC-AFT said the UC proposal lacked an improvement in benefits offered and didn’t mention the proposed new pension tier. It’s unclear to the union if the UC will work with the lecturers demands.
Powers said UC-AFT is meeting Nov. 6-7 in a statewide series to plan an organized response in the event that the UC doesn’t meet its negotiation demands.
“If leaders feel we have something to fight for, we will ramp up organizing substantially after the New Year,” Power said.