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UC-AFT Insider: Bargaining Petition & SCOTUS, the Fair Share Fee and the Future of UC-AFT


University Council-AFT Insider                    
January 11, 2016

In this issue:

  • Petition to President Napolitano: Lecturers Deserve a Fair Contract Now
  • SCOTUS, the Fair Share Fee and the Future of Our Union
  • Building a Stronger Union--What We Can Do Now

Petition to President Napolitano: Lecturers Deserve a Fair Contract Now
After twelve months of negotiations, the UC still hasn't put in writing serious proposals on salary or responded to our proposal that all lecturers should have retirement benefits. Lecturers are now working without a contract. We are asking President Napolitano to direct her team back to the table with proposals for a fair contract for non-senate faculty.  Please sign and circulate our petition to President Napolitano. Bargaining resumes January 19 in Oakland.

Updates for all bargaining sessions to date are posted on the Lecturer Bargaining Blog.

SCOTUS, the Fair Share Fee and the Future of Our Union
On Monday January 11, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association (  This case challenges forty years of precedent supporting the right of labor unions to assess a fee from all bargaining unit members to pay for the essential and costly work of contract negotiation, administration and enforcement from which all bargaining unit members benefit.

Our non-Senate faculty contract is one of the best in the country, and we negotiated nearly all of the major improvements after the fair share fee was enacted in California in 2000.  This chart shows the dramatic salary increases negotiated for lecturers since fair share became law. We also added the continuing appointment, larger merit raises, and the professional development fund among other things.

The fair share fee has allowed our union to hire a professional staff and member stewards on every campus who spend countless hours advising, supporting and representing bargaining unit members in employment matters. This work results in re-review and reappointment, back pay, workload review, unemployment benefits, disability accommodations, improvements in campus policy and so much more. 

We’ve experienced first-hand the benefit of the fair share fee in terms of power at the bargaining table. And, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that rates of union membership are twice as high in States with fair share fees. It’s no wonder that a right wing law firm with serious backing from anti-labor groups would attack the fair share fee.

If the Court abolishes fair share, the only way to maintain our ability to negotiate good contracts for lecturers and librarians, and to defend them effectively, is to have an active membership base working together to build a strong union.

Building a Stronger UC-AFT--What We Can Do Now
Each of the last three years, UC-AFT has recruited more new union members than at any previous point. We’re working to reach new hires more quickly and to offer an orientation that is professionally informative and personally supportive. We’re increasing our visibility, training new leaders and developing networks of lecturer union members across the campuses.  Our future is member education, community building and action. Click here to find a way to join our efforts to build a strong and resilient union.

It’s now easier than ever to become a member of UC-AFT using our new online membership form.

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The University Council – American Federation of Teachers is an affiliate of the California Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO.