UC professors call off strike and reach contractual agreement

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The University of California reached an agreement with the faculty bargaining unit ahead of a scheduled strike. The Berkeley campus is shown here. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

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University of California professors ended a strike early Wednesday morning after union officials said they had reached a tentative agreement with the university administration over long-running disputes.

The UC system has over 6,000 non-tenured lecturers and often subject to higher turnover rates. The group is represented by the American Federation of Teachers, which has been negotiating with the administration for more than two years for higher wages and better job security.

Union members at nine UC campuses, including UC Davis and UC Merced, had planned to cancel classes Wednesday and Thursday in response to the administration’s “unfair labor practices.” The UC-AFT claimed that the university refused to negotiate in good faith on paid parental leave, among other things.

the contract agreement achieved Wednesday morning now grants the right to four weeks of fully paid family leave and the right to return to work with the same protections as federal or state family medical leave.

“Management’s refusal to negotiate this policy prompted the call for a strike over unfair practices,” the UC-AFT said in a statement. “Our will to act led management to present a proposal that corresponds to our bargaining unit.

The university’s chief negotiator, Nadine Fishel, said the agreement reflects “the university’s good faith bargaining effort over the past two and a half years of negotiations.”

The contractual agreement “revolutionizes” the first six years of a lecturer’s career at UC, the union said. Unlike the current system, which grants lecturers one-year contracts for the first six years, each contract after the first year is a multi-year appointment.

Under the new contract, speakers will also receive a $1,500 signing bonus and their salaries will be subject to a regular salary increase schedule, beginning with a general range adjustment of 7% on January 1.

“The University is proud of the dedication and commitment to a harmonious working relationship that both parties have shown to reach a fair agreement that honors our faculty and prioritizes the University’s teaching mission. “said Letitia Silas, executive director of system-wide labor relations.

Classes will resume as planned on Wednesday and Thursday. Although speakers will not walk the picket line, they will gather for celebratory rallies at noon.

This story was originally published November 17, 2021 7:55 a.m.

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Lara Korte covers California politics for The Sacramento Bee. Before joining The Bee, she reported on higher education in Texas for the Austin American-Statesman. She graduated from the University of Kansas.

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