University Articles

Article

UC-AFT recognized on Assembly Floor

Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, Chair of the Higher Education Committee, recognized the University Council-AFT on the Assembly Floor during UC-AFT’s first group lobby day at the State Capitol on April 1.

Before becoming a state legislator, Medina was a teacher at Riverside Poly High School and served as an elected trustee of the Riverside Community College District.  For his dedicated work on behalf of education, CFT honored Medina with its Legislator of the Year Award in 2016.

Article Mia L. McIver, President, UC-AFT

Students need more mental health support on campus, faculty too

In a recent survey of UC-AFT faculty, members highlighted mental health as an issue that deserves our union’s attention and energy. UC students experiencing psychological challenges often seek support from lecturers and other contract faculty, who are sometimes the only faculty with whom they can develop a one-to-one relationship.

Article CFT 100

University Council-AFT: Bringing dignity to UC lecturers and librarians

Download a single-sheet illustrated history of the University Council-AFT

In September of 1978, Gov. Jerry Brown made good on a promise to the CFT and signed the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act, authorizing employees of the UC and CSU systems to engage in collective bargaining.

The University Council-AFT had already been formally organized on June 19, 1971, when seven AFT locals at UC voted to establish themselves as a council. The council and its constituent locals had represented UC employees as a non-bargaining agent since 1963.

Article Lecturers Librarians

Building a member-driven union at the university

An effective site rep structure reaches lecturers, librarians where they work

At UC Berkeley, 16 lecturer site representatives are fanning out across the sprawling campus. In Davis, the union is fielding at least 15. In both places, the effort to meet the challenge of a new era in public sector labor relations is part of an even larger move to change the culture of the union. 

Like many public sector unions, the University Council-AFT is preparing for a Supreme Court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case, in which the court’s new right-wing majority is likely to strike down agency fees. That would invalidate the union’s contract provision requiring non-members to pay a fair share service fee for representation services.

Article New Employee Orientation AB 119 admin

Unions get full and timely access to new employees

New law leads to union negotiating rules for employee orientation

In April 2016, Julia Troche applied to be a lecturer in Egyptology at UCLA. “It was my alma mater as an undergrad, so this was a special position for me, a chance to give back to the institution that gave me so much,” she says. She’d received an email from the department chair of Near Eastern Language and Culture asking her to apply. “She told me there was no guarantee of continuing employment, but it would put me in a good place while I looked for a tenure-track appointment.”

Article Contingent Faculty Academic Freedom

Contingent faculty and academic freedom in the age of Trump

Organizing the disenfranchised is the key to success

By Bob Samuels, President, UC-AFT

Now that more than 75 percent of the instructors teaching in higher education in the United States do not have tenure, it is important to think about how the current political climate affects those vulnerable teachers. Although we should pay attention to how all faculty are being threatened, non-tenured faculty are in an especially exposed position because they often lack any type of academic freedom or shared governance rights. 

Members unite to fight Trump’s immigration orders

Council builds solidarity by engaging with members on issues that unite

Before the election our focus was on leadership development,” says Mia McIver, vice president for organizing for the University Council-AFT, “and the election brought us a sense of new urgency.” Strong leaders will provide the underpinning for the campaigns the union will undertake as it faces the Trump administration and a predictable tsunami of anti-union and anti-education measures.

Article Librarians

Librarians negotiate professional development and salary

Entry-level pay lower than at CSU and the community colleges

The University Council-AFT is negotiating with UC over two key articles of its contract covering librarians — salaries and professional development funds — says Axel Borg, distinguished wine and food science bibliographer at UC Davis. He sums up the common concerns between the union and the university as competitiveness, compression, and consistency.

Higher education should be free…and it’s within our reach

Candidates don’t go far enough; social movement needed to force issue

Bernie says higher education should be free. Hillary says students should be debt-free when they graduate. Bob Samuels, president of the University Council-AFT, welcomes this debate, but says neither Democratic presidential candidate goes far enough. 

Librarian masters digital tools for workplace and union

Carla Arbagey creates infographics to illustrate workload

UC Riverside librarian Carla Arbagey says, “Technology is like air to me.” It is essential in the library, where she integrates systems and tracks information on more than 3.4 million items. She is the winner of the 2014 Technology New Leader Award from the California Library Association, and a self-described “type-A personality” who likes things to be tidy, organized, and efficient.

Article

New organizing chief embraces democracy campaign

“You See (UC) Democracy?”aims for systemwide change and a fully enfranchised faculty

Chris Hables Gray is widely known in academic circles for his research on the U.S. military post-World War II. The UC Santa Cruz lecturer has also written extensively about how technology is transforming humans.

Article Tuition

University of California fails to solve campus funding inequities

Influx of non-resident tuition income outstrips new rebenching funds

Two years ago, the University of California system changed the way it distributes state funds and tuition revenue to the campuses. In the past, all tuition dollars and state dollars were sent to the Office of the President and redistributed according to unknown formulas. 

Article Lecturers Librarians

UCLA professor leads mobilization of lecturers and librarians

UCLA professor leads mobilization of lecturers and librarians

Statewide campaign builds on established strength in campus locals

Goetz Wolff has taught at UCLA for more than 20 years, but was generally more involved with Southern California’s vibrant labor movement than with the union on his job. Wolff, for example, earned high praise for his six years as research director at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, but barely knew the ins and outs of the University Council-AFT.