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Lecturers to strike for unfair labor practices across UC campuses

University of California lecturers held informational pickets in October about their ongoing contract negotiations with the UC. Lecturers will officially strike Wednesday and Thursday. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin staff)

By Christine Tran

Nov. 14, 2021 2:32 p.m.

This post was updated Nov. 14 at 4:07 p.m.

Members of a University of California lecturers’ union will go on strike across all campuses Wednesday and Thursday.

University Council-American Federation of Teachers, the labor union that represents more than 6,800 UC lecturers and other part-time faculty, announced that 91% of members voted to authorize an unfair labor practice strike. Strikes will begin at 10 a.m. at each UC campus.

According to the union’s website, UC-AFT decided to go on strike because of the UC allegedly violating state labor laws after more than two years of bargaining for improved salaries and fairer workload standards.

The union has filed seven unfair labor practice charges in the past 20 months over issues including the UC Office of the President refusing to participate in good faith in state-sponsored impasse procedures and to bargain about paid family leaves, according to a UC-AFT press release.

The Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act establishes the right to collective bargaining for employees of the UC, Hastings College of the Law and the California State University system.

Additionally, HEERA allows workers to strike over unfair labor practices to protest breaches of labor laws.

“UCOP’s seven ULPs in the last twenty months show a clear pattern of disrespect, lack of consideration, and unlawful actions, all of which interferes with our negotiating process and undermines our collective bargaining rights,” the press release said.

The UC finds UC-AFT’s decision to pursue a strike unfortunate, said Ryan King, a UCOP spokesperson, in an emailed statement.  

“The California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has made no determination of unfair labor practices against UC,” King said. “We continue to meet with the union in good-faith, and have scheduled two full day sessions Monday, Nov. 15 and Tuesday, Nov. 16 to continue negotiating in good faith with the purpose of achieving a fair five-year agreement.”

As of publication, the UC-AFT website read that the strike would last no longer than two days and that the union has set up a strike fund that would give members one-time grants of up to $750 for any financial difficulties faced during the strike.

The last time UC-AFT went on strike was in 2002, which resulted in the University granting the union’s demand for continuing appointments for lecturers.

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Christine Tran | National news and higher education editor
Tran is the 2021-2022 national news and higher education editor in addition to being a contributor for Enterprise. She is also a fourth-year political science student at UCLA.
Tran is the 2021-2022 national news and higher education editor in addition to being a contributor for Enterprise. She is also a fourth-year political science student at UCLA.
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