Important information about UC-UAW negotiations
The University has learned that the United Auto Workers (UAW) is attempting to organize another strike among graduate teaching assistants, tutors and other academic student employees (ASEs) for the first week of December.
It is important that the entire UC community understand fully the University’s positions in these negotiations – especially concerning the issue of “sympathy strikes” – as well as UC’s efforts to reach a fair contract and the facts about the union’s accusations of UC bad faith bargaining and unfair labor practices.
Campus preparedness in the event of a strike
UC wants to assure our students, faculty, staff and the public that all UC campuses have contingency plans in place to deal with strikes and to help ensure that instructional activities, as well as general University operations, will continue with as little disruption as possible.
Clarification about “sympathy strikes”
All UC labor contracts contain standard “No Strikes” prohibitions against virtually all manner of strikes, including sympathy strikes – members from one union joining “in sympathy” in the strike of another union. The “No Strikes” provision represents the union’s promise of labor peace during the contract.
UC’s lecturers, librarians, police officers, service and patient care employees have all agreed that their “No Strikes” provisions prohibit sympathy strikes. Thus far, the UAW has not agreed to an explicit prohibition against sympathy strikes, which UC believes undercuts the promise of labor peace.
UC has a long tradition of supporting fully the civil expression of individual views and there is nothing in the University’s standard ‘No Strikes’ provision or its current proposals that prohibit ASEs from joining in any demonstrations or picket lines they choose on their own personal time.
UC’s efforts for a fair and expeditious agreement
Clarification of unfair labor practice charges and
claims of UC bad faith
The mere filing of ULPs does not represent actual wrongdoing or provide a legal justification for striking, and there is no limit to the number of ULPs a union may file or any requirement to demonstrate their validity in advance of a hearing before the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Since a hearing may not happen for many months – if at all, since charges are often settled or withdrawn once the parties reach agreement – some unions use this as a tactic to attempt to vilify an employer, gain public sympathy, and pressure an employer into agreeing to union demands.
Only PERB has the authority to determine the validity of ULPs and the legality of any strike based on them, and UC is confident the UAW’s allegations will fail scrutiny if they are ever reviewed by PERB.
The union also attempts to portray UC as irresponsible or deceitful by accusing the University of sending negotiators to the table who lack sufficient authority. All UC negotiators are fully authorized to negotiate labor contracts on behalf of the University. As is customary in bargaining, both sides consult often with their respective organizations about offers the other side is making, and both sides must obtain membership approval before any agreement can be finalized. This regular constituent consultation is a normal part of the process – and something the union itself engages in – and any attempt to portray this as anything else is misleading.
UC’s response to other unions joining in a
Current ASE compensation & opportunities among
the best in higher education
Salaries: Minimum of $14,200 for a nine-month work year at a 50% time appointment (20 hours/week);
Free Health Benefits: UC currently pays 100% of the health insurance premiums for any graduate student TA working a minimum of 25% time, saving graduate student employees $685-$1600/year;
No Fees: UC currently pays 100% of the education and registration fees for any graduate student TA working a minimum of 25% time, saving graduate student employees approximately $5,200 each academic year;
World-class learning: Chance to work with faculty at the world’s premier public research university.
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