2-day strike called off for thousands of lecturers across 9 UC campuses

A two-day strike that was scheduled to begin Wednesday morning for nearly 7,000 lecturers across the nine University of California campuses has been called off after a tentative agreement was reached.

The University Council-American Federation of Teachers said it reached a "historic agreement" with the UC. 

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 University is proud of the dedication and commitment to harmonious labor relations both sides demonstrated to achieve a fair deal that honors our lecturers and prioritizes the University's instructional mission," said Letitia Silas, UC's executive director for systemwide labor relations.

UC-AFT President Mia McIver called the agreement "a landmark and transformative achievement. This is the best contract in UC-AFT history and, we believe, among the best for contingent faculty nationwide. We are pleased with how the parties have come together to reach an agreement emphasizing the importance of the role lecturers play at the University."

The agreement must still be voted on by union members before it goes into effect. A ratification vote is expected to begin later this week.

The walk-off was previously planned for Wednesday and Thursday for what lecturers called an "unfair labor practice strike." 

The move could have led to the cancellation of classes for thousands of UC students and would have possibly affected campus operations.

The University Council-American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT) represents nontenured faculty like lecturers and adjunct professors, hired on a yearly or quarterly basis. The labor union says 30-40% of courses in the UC System are taught by its members.  

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Previously, 91% voted to authorize the strike that was set to begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday.    

Negotiations have been going on for more than two years. Among their demands, the lecturers want better job security, longer contracts,  paid family leave, and a "fairer" workload. 

Negotiations will continue during the walkout. The last time UC-AFT went on strike was in 2002.

In Southern California, the stile fools impact UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Barbara.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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