UC Academic Workers win a huge victory on bullying and workplace abuse!
This week, all four groups of UC Academic Workers represented by UAW–Academic Researchers, Academic Student Employees, Postdocs and Student Researchers–reached tentative agreements with UC on adding Respectful Work Environment articles to their contract. Finally, our contracts will enshrine enforceable and binding mechanisms to prevent bullying in the workplace and protect those who experience abusive conduct:

  • Clear timelines to investigate and resolve abusive conduct under the grievance process including appeal to third-party arbitration if necessary,
  • A strong definition of abusive conduct with clear examples of abusive behavior that will allow us to enforce protections,
  • Worker-centered protections and interim measures – for example, a worker can work from a different lab or work remotely while their issue is being resolved,
  • Secure protections that prevent UC from changing definitions or resolution procedures unilaterally.

This historic win is a direct result of mass collective action by all UC Academic Workers. Now we’ve got to keep up the pressure and raise the stakes to force UC to agree to all four units’ demands on outstanding issues including compensation, climate-friendly transit, rights for international scholars, support for parents and more.

Please read on for a *brief* summary of what happened in each of last week’s bargaining sessions (you can click here for more detailed info on the latest proposals for each unit):

Academic Researchers
Academic Researchers also reached agreement on a package of articles: Corrective Action and Dismissal, Non-Discrimination in Employment, Time and Effort Commitment, and Work-incurred Injury and Illness. In the tentative agreement on Non-Discrimination in Employment, Academic Researchers have reached a major milestone in improving our workplace protections through the grievance process against all forms of discrimination and retaliation, and we also stopped UC’s attempts to weaken this article. And, as we have been making progress at the table, we agreed to extend the contract until October 31st.

Academic Student Employees
Over 350 members attended bargaining last week to send a clear message to UC: end rent burden now. In addition to the victory on bullying and abusive conduct, Academic Student Employees also reached agreement on Non-Discrimination in Employment, an article that protects workers from all forms of discrimination and harassment in the workplace, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. The article ensures that workers have an independent grievance process separate and apart from the University’s Title IX processes.

Postdocs
This week, Postdocs also won on an improved grievance and arbitration process that will ensure faster resolution of all workplace issues. UC made their latest economic proposal but it fell far short of addressing the high cost of living, while offering nothing on our other key economic issues including increasing minimum appointment length (and visa length), addressing the climate crisis by subsidizing green transportation options, and increasing paid family leave. We also reached agreement with UC to extend the contract until October 31.

Student Researchers
In addition to our victory on bullying and abusive conduct, Student Researchers reached agreement on non-discrimination in employment, health and safety, and holidays. The first two are key issues that Student Researchers formed a union to ensure: enforceable protections from discrimination and harassment and guaranteed workplace safety. The new articles ensure that no researcher faces harassment without real recourse, and guarantees the right to refuse unsafe working conditions.

Workers are organizing *huge* turn-out for October Membership Meetings
Right now the most important thing you can do is RSVP to join an upcoming mass meeting at your campus where workers will strategize how to keep building on this momentum until we win fair contracts for all UC Academic Workers!

And don’t hesitate to reply to this email with any questions or about other ways to get involved in bargaining—winning what we deserve means everyone needs to be on deck!

In solidarity,

UAW 5810 Academic Researcher Bargaining Team
UAW 2865 Academic Student Employee Bargaining Team
UAW 5810 Postdoc Bargaining Team
SRU-UAW Student Researcher Bargaining Team