Congratulations on your position at the University of California! Below is a checklist for employment-related items you should have by the start of the term:
1. Written Appointment Notification
Have you received your written appointment notification and supplemental documentation yet? If it’s 30 days before the start of your appointment, you should have received this already. Your appointment notification is your guarantee of a job. If you have not received your appointment notification or supplemental documentation, or have additional questions about your new job, please Contact your Campus’s Union Office right away.
a) For TA Titles
Notification should include your job title, appointment percentage (or range of hours), dates of employment, salary/wages, health and other applicable benefits or deductions, hiring unit and hiring unit contact (in most cases your department), response requirements if any, a statement that the position is covered by the collective bargaining agreement between our union and the university, the website address for our contract, and the time and place of any applicable ASE orientations.
b) For Reader and Tutor Titles
Notification should include your job title, appointment percentage (or range of hours), dates of employment, salary/wages, health and other applicable benefits or deductions, hiring unit, hiring unit contact, response requirements if any, a statement that the position is covered by the collective bargaining agreement between our union and the university, the website address for our contract, and the time and place of any applicable ASE orientations. The notice shall also include the following: faculty member or supervisor to whom you will report if known; the location where the work will be performed if known; the class assigned if applicable; the departmental reader/tutor pay formula; a description of required duties; and it may include estimated time for effective completion of each duty.
2. Description of Duties (Supplemental Documentation)
All workers except for Instructors of Record should receive a form with written details about your new appointment (a sample form is available as Appendix C of the 2010-2013 Contract). For Reader and Tutor titles, this is included with your appointment notification.
Your Supplemental Documentation Outlines the Requirements of your Position
• For reader and tutor titles this is included with your appointment notification (see above).
• For TA titles this includes the faculty member or supervisor to whom you will report; the location where the work will be performed if known; the class assigned if applicable; description of the required duties; departmental policy on class, section and/or lab size where it exists; and it may include estimated time for effective completion of each duty.
In addition to winning more timely appointment notification and information about our job in our most recent contract negotiations, our current contract now includes a uniform Supplemental Documentation/Description of Duties Form. Compare it to what you’ve received, and contact yourCampus’s Union Office if there are any discrepancies.
If you are asked to return your appointment notification or supplemental documentation, keep a copy for your records. If you haven’t received these documents and the 30-day timeline has passed, or if either of the documents don’t include the required information, contact your Campus’s Union Office right away.
3. Completed Workload Grid
Local 2865 strongly suggests you track your workload with this Workload Grid form. By tracking your workload closely, you can determine whether you are working over the workload limits, and can seek redress. That helps you graduate faster, helps students receive high quality education, and it helps put the “right price tag” on educating the next generation of Californians.
You should notify your supervisor immediately if you anticipate exceeding the maximum hours for your appointment percentage during the course of the quarter or semester. Workload grievances are subject to an expedited process including the following possible solutions:
- Your appointment percentage and compensation will be increased to be consistent with the number of hours you will work, and/or
- Your work assignment will be reduced or modified such that the number of hours worked will be consistent with your appointment percentage and workload limits.
(If your appointment is modified in any way, make sure you receive a new appointment-notification document which reflects all changes.)
Whenever we work as TAs, Readers or Tutors, Academic Student Employees wear lots of different hats. We work part time. We study. We do research. We care for sick family members. We raise kids. And so on.
The fact that many of us have so much on our plates is one of the key reasons we have strong workload protections in our contract. If you receive a 50% time, 20 hours per week job you can reasonably expect to work an average of 20 hours per week. If you’re asked to
- Work more than 8 hours per day, or
- Work more than an average of 20 hours per week, or
- Work more than 40 hours in any one week, or
- Work more than a total of 220 hours per quarter (or 340 per semester)
Your workload rights are being violated if you have something other than a 50% time appointment, points 1 and 4 above apply to you and the quarter/semester maximum is applied proportionally. Information regarding your appointment level should be included in your appointment notification.
Being overworked is not good for anyone. It means:
1. You’re working for free;
2. You’re spending time performing job duties instead of your research, your studying, your dissertation, your qualifying examination prep, or any number of other things for which you would like to budget your time;
3. You won’t be able to provide the high quality of education you want to provide if you are over-extended;
4. Enemies of higher education get away with under-funding the UC. Fees keep going up, but less money is being allocated to educate undergraduates. When we agree to work for free, we inadvertently send the signal to Sacramento that it’s ok to cut funding for higher education, because work will get done regardless of whether UC receives sufficient funding or not.