Bargaining Update #8: Some Progress, but UC Falling Short on Diversity

“One of the reasons I came to UCI was its commitment to diversity. When I came here, I felt very happy and supported, but now, somehow, that support has vanished.”

—Selena Lucent, UCI student-parent facing eviction from campus housing

June 18-19, 2018, IRVINE, CA — Your bargaining team met with management for the second-to-last time before our contract expires on June 30. We made concrete progress in spite of management only coming to the table for two hours on day one, reaching a tentative agreement on Appointment Notification (Article 2), which includes new language notifying Academic Student Employees (ASEs) of their right to childcare and reasonable accommodations for disabilities through our contract.

Student-workers gathered on June 18th to hear powerful testimonies from fellow workers who spoke about their struggles. Kyung, a student in economics, expressed astonishment at the astronomical non-residential tuition charged to international students, “We couldn’t believe an institution that claims to value diversity would take such blatantly discriminatory action.”

We have moved the administration to adopt stronger protections for disabled workers, but they remain unwilling to grant ASEs the agency to decide which reasonable accommodation(s) will be implemented. We will not agree to any language that does not guarantee the ASE’s ability to consent to a proposed accommodation.

One UC-Irvine student-worker, Selena Lucent, reported facing unjust eviction from University housing when the UC refused to accommodate her learning disability. Unionists from across the state responded by taking the fight straight to housing, picketing outside the Housing Office to demand immediate remedy in writing. As we write this update, two bargaining team members are on the phone with housing directors, who responded immediately to our collective action. We won’t rest until we see justice for Selena!

Our current contract expires on June 30 and in the upcoming weeks we have one final meeting with UC Office of the President (UCOP) in Oakland – June 28-29 – to continue working towards an agreement on our new contract.

We make progress at the negotiating table when members get involvedso RSVP to come to bargaining at UCOP, spread the word, and sign up your friends and colleagues as members!

We are a member-led union. The strength of our new contract depends on the strength of our membership. Become a department steward or join your campus Organizing CommitteeNow is the time to build our power and win our demands!

We hope to see you June 28 and 29 at UCOP for the final round of bargaining before contract expiration!