University Articles

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 New Employee Orientation AB 119

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.”

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.

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.

Article Labor art

Photographer brings the art of class struggle to wide audience

Previously censored works of San Diego professor Fred Lonidier in Whitney Biennial

Fred Lonidier’s artwork depicting the lives and struggles of maquiladora workers was banished from the Autonomous University of Baja California in 2005. This month artwork telling the story of that censorship will go up on the walls of New York’s prestigious Whitney Museum of American Art as part of its renowned Biennial exhibition.

Article Librarians

Reference librarians meet complex queries with a human touch

Highly skilled professionals imperiled by administrative cost-cutting, online chat

“We no longer have a visible reference desk in our two main libraries,” reports Miki Goral, a UCLA librarian of 43 years. “Students first have to go to the circulation desk. If the student working there thinks they need to talk to a reference librarian, they often refer them to a 24/7 online chat, which is staffed by a UC librarian only during certain hours.