We are your elected Academic Researcher Bargaining Team and we write to you with an exciting update. After years of pressure by our union, UC is proposing to add a new paid family leave benefit (Pay for Family Care and Bonding) to our contract. As of now, Academic Researchers can use vacation and sick time to be paid during a parental or family medical leave, but do not have a dedicated paid family leave benefit. Here are the details, and here’s a copy of UC’s proposed side letter that would be added to our contract starting July 1, 2021:

  • When can it be used? Pay during an approved Family and Medical Leave (FML) for parental bonding or to care for a family member with a serious health condition, for Military Caregiver Leave, or for Qualifying Exigency Leave
  • Pay during a leave: 8 weeks at 70% pay
  • Who is eligible? Available to any Academic Researcher who has worked at UC for 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of leave
  • Flexibility in use: Can be used in minimum 1-week blocks

Vote to ratify: As with everything in our union, adding this benefit will be decided democratically:

  • A “yes” vote means: A new Pay for Family Care and Bonding benefit will be available to ARs starting on July 1
  • A “no” vote means: The current options for pay during a Family and Medical Leave and other leaves would remain the same (vacation or sick time)

The vote will continue through midnight on Thursday, June 10.

To vote online now, please follow this link to vote.

Next steps
Beyond this vote, our union’s Paid Leave and Childcare Working Group has been working hard to improve family-friendly benefits for ARs and we’re not done yet! We will continue to push for more paid family leave (to match the internationally-recognized standard of 12 weeks at full pay), as well as childcare subsidies and other provisions that support a diverse and inclusive workplace. If you’d like to contribute to these efforts, simply reply to this email if you’d like to get involved in the working group and one of the committee members will be in touch. And if you’re not yet a member, please sign up today!

If you have any questions about this or issues with accessing your voting link, please email uaw5810@uaw5810.org.

In solidarity,

Academic Researcher Bargaining Team
Howard Issacson, Campus Chair, UC Berkeley
Stacey Frederick, Recording Secretary, UC Berkeley
Paul Lott, Campus Chair, UC Davis
Chris Salazar, Campus Chair, UC Irvine
Charlie Smith-Geater, Recording Secretary, UC Irvine
Vanessa Muros, Campus Chair, UC Los Angeles
Gabriel G. Edwards, Recording Secretary, UC Los Angeles
Antoine Shahin, Campus Chair, UC Merced
Sonia Podvin, Campus Chair, UC San Diego
Theo Tarver, Campus Chair, UC San Francisco
Elliott Peterson, Recording Secretary, UC San Francisco
Ryan McGreal, Campus Chair, UC Santa Barbara
Melissa Cline, Campus Chair, UC Santa Cruz
Margherita Zavatta, Recording Secretary, UC Santa Cruz