Non-tenured professors, lecturers and some other faculty members at the nine University of California campuses are planning a walkout Wednesday and Thursday in a nearly two-year dispute over several labor issues.
The University Council-American Federation of Teachers says it has filed seven unfair labor practice charges with the California Public Employees Relations Board over the last 20 months. They accuse UC President Michael Drake’s administration of failing to bargain in good faith over a handful of issues, including a paid family leave policy. The UC-AFT represents lecturers and adjunct professors hired on a yearly or quarterly basis, as well as librarians.
The walkout could affect classes at UCLA and UC Irvine. UCLA officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. UCI officials referred all questions about the planned walkout to Drake’s office, which also did not immediately respond.
According to the union, the UC’s family leave policy would provide eight weeks of paid leave for some employees to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child. But the eligibility threshold excludes thousands of lecturers, the majority of whom teach part-time and are more likely to be women and caregivers than their tenure-track colleagues, the union says. The union claims UC management initially said the new program was subject to collective bargaining, but later declared that they would not negotiate.
Other issues include:
— additional compensation for online instruction and essential teaching supplies;
— settlement terms after improperly withholding employer retirement contributions;
— the effects of layoffs lecturers at UC Davis; and
— the impacts of COVID conditions on K-12 teachers represented by UC-AFT.
The union invited students to join the picket line, and asked its members who teach remotely to turn off access to their website Wednesday and Thursday. The UC-AFT is affiliated with the California Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers.