Last Friday, UAW 2865 and SRU-UAW filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against UC for their failure to bargain in good faith by circumventing union contract negotiations. These charges pertain to UC Irvine’s announcement promising a funding guarantee (including over the summer) at the level of a 50% ASE for future graduate workers (not those of us currently working) “irrespective of any union contract.” This “promise” comes as UC fails to meaningfully respond to our contractually binding proposals for year-round guaranteed funding. 

UC Irvine’s announcement is a response to the power Academic Workers are building, but it is totally inadequate and inequitable. We need guaranteed, year-round funding for all UC workers — not the possibility of funding for future cohorts of certain workers. ASEs have more power together, as 19,000 workers spanning 9 campuses. UC’s divide and conquer tactics won’t deter us as we fight for a strong contract.

UC has a history of breaking promises

In addition to being inadequate, UC’s funding proposal comes with no guarantee it will ever be implemented. In 2020, UCLA announced their own summer funding proposal, but allowed departments to reduce the total amount and use pre-existing merit awards and TA-ships to provide funding. A similar situation unfolded at UC San Diego.

In 2018, UC told Postdocs that they would soon be implementing a childcare reimbursement program that Postdocs would have access to. Four years later, childcare reimbursements remain one of Postdocs’ main bargaining demands because UC never implemented the program.

The UC is notorious for going back on their promises, and by promising this change at UC Irvine “irrespective of any union contract,” they are leaving open the door to do so again.

Workers have already filed other Unfair Labor Practice charges

This is not the first time UC has attempted to subvert the bargaining process in this round of negotiations. They have unlawfully refused to negotiate over an anti-bullying policy, arguing that they cannot do so because they are in the process of creating their own anti-bullying policy. Postdocs, ASEs, and SRs filed charges related to this in the fall.

It is clear that UC wants to continue ignoring the democratic will of 48,000 Academic Workers. Let them know that this is not okay by getting involved with the bargaining process. Fill out this form and a TA from your campus will be in touch about how you can help build power so we can win our demands.