A tentative agreement was reached between the University of California and a union representing non-tenured professors, lecturers and some other faculty members on Wednesday, canceling a walkout that was planned over a dispute about several labor issues.
The University Council-American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT) announced just before 5 a.m. that its planned strike had been called off after reaching a tentative agreement with the university system. The union said it "won transformative and groundbreaking improvements in crucial areas, including job stability, workload, and compensation."
Part of the tentative deal includes:
- Job security protections that offer opportunities for professional advancement
- Raised salary floor and improved compensation, including annual cost-of-living adjustments for each year of the contract
- More transparency, consistency and enforceability of workload issues
- Four weeks of fully paid leave to bond with a new child or care for ailing family members
UC-AFT initially filed seven unfair labor practice charges with the California Public Employees Relations Board over the last 20 months. Prior to the resolution, union members accused UC President Michael Drake's administration of failing to bargain in good faith over a handful of issues, including a paid family leave policy.
According to the UC, university negotiators presented union leaders with a "comprehensive proposal" on Oct. 11 that included substantial pay increases, an enhanced appointment system with more stability for lecturers, evaluations for pre-six lecturers at the end of each appointment term, greater transparency in job expectations and mechanisms for addressing workload concerns.
Ryan King, associate director of media relations for the UC President's Office, said officials have since enhanced that offer, offering, among other things, four weeks of leave at 100% of pay for all bargaining unit members, including for those members who may not be eligible for the family medical leave policy.
The two sides were conducting all-day negotiations on Tuesday.
Originally, the strike was planned for Wednesday and Thursday, leaving it unclear how classes would have been impacted for students. Now that an agreement was reached, the union said members and supporters across the state will gather for celebratory rallies at 12 p.m. Wednesday at locations they previously designated for the strike.
UC-AFT represents lecturers and adjunct professors hired on a yearly or quarterly basis, as well as librarians. It is affiliated with the California Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers.