The last few weeks have been busy for the union. Here are some of the highlights!:
– Thousands of members across the state came together in a powerful sympathy strike in support of AFSCME 3299’s protest against intimidation. Here’s a letter of gratitude from AFSCME 3299. Here are links to some of the coverage from the day’s actions.
– Our protest at the Regents Meeting at UCSF garnered substantial positive press coverage for “Towards Mediocrity”, our union’s report on the decline of UC quality of and access to public education. Read it here and coverage of it here.
– In our last bargaining session at UC Riverside we saw more movement from management than we have seen in the past 6 months. This involved offers on wages, non-discrimination issues and job security. Certainly steps in the right direction for winning the contract we want! (See full update below.)
– At the same time, management intimidation against our own members in the days leading up to the sympathy strike have caused our union to file Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges with the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) against the UCs. Several instances of intimidation across the state have been included in this charge.
In bargaining news, last Monday our bargaining team met with UC Management at UC Riverside for a one-day session. Many graduate and undergraduate students were in attendance to speak to the importance of adequate support for student-families and undocumented students as well as to speak to quality of education issues faced by undergraduate student when graduate student support is suffering. Thanks to everyone who came out and showed their support!
UC management passed us a comprehensive package proposal which included the following changes from where they were before:
– from 2% annual raises to 3% annual raises.
– from no improvements on non-discrimination to some language around lactation accommodations and all gender bathrooms (framed as an accommodation for individuals).
– from $800 to $900 dollars childcare subsidy on quarter campuses and up to 1350 per semester. Our current contract gives a 600 dollar subsidy for quarter campuses and $900 for semester.
– some language making year-long appointments the norm, however no actual guarantee of year-long appointments.
Our bargaining team passed a few proposals as well and continued to speak about issues of economic difficulty that graduate students at the UCs face. We presented numbers from University of Michigan that show that the UCs are paying their graduate students 18% (at a minimum) less than comparable institutions. Our bargaining team also brought a revised proposal on class size that would guarantee meetings to determine TA/student ratios by department and division. We also brought a proposal to centralize posting of open positions across campuses in order to make it easier to find and apply for available ASE positions.
Additionally, we engaged in a discussion with management about improvements to the dependent health care and leaves, particularly on the importance of offering real childbearing/maternity leave for ASEs. Finally, we passed a petition with 2000+ signatures in support of all-gender bathrooms in all classroom buildings where ASEs teach.
Our next bargaining dates at December 4th and 5th at UCLA. We hope to see you there!