UAW 2865 and UC Office of the President negotiate contract

The University of California reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers yesterday, a labor union that represents more than 12,000 academic student employees at the nine UC campuses.

The members of UAW 2865, comprised of UC student workers, began bargaining last June with the UC for a new a four-year contract. Provisions in the contract call for a series of wage increases that will add up to a 16 percent increase over the next four years, increased child care subsidies and better payment for those taking parental leave.

According to Rosalie Carlson, a first-year graduate student in the Department of Mathematics and Head Steward for UAW at UCSB, elections will take place across UC campuses on June 12 and 13, and the contract must first be ratified by union members.

“The academic student employees in the union must agree to the terms in the contract by vote” Carlson said. “For the union members not on campus at that time, they will be able to vote by absentee.”

If the contract is ratified by union members, it will replace a previous contract between UAW 2865 and the UC that expired this past fall. At UCSB, approximately 55 percent of TAs, tutors and readers are part of UAW 2865 and undergraduate students, many of whom are CLAS tutors, also have membership.

By signing the agreement, Nadine Fishel, the chief negotiator for the UC Office of the President, ended the possibility of strikes across UC campuses next week. With final examinations scheduled next week at seven of the nine UC campuses — excluding UC Berkeley and UC Merced, who are on the semester system — the agreement helps avoid distraction.

Dwaine B. Duckett, the UC vice president of human resources, said he was glad strikes at UC campuses were avoided.

“Both sides worked hard, and we’re pleased to have reached this tentative agreement,” Duckett said. “We’re even more pleased that our students will finish the school year without any more unnecessary disruptions, and will have the valued assistance of our academic student employees.”

Robert Ackermann, the former unit chair at UAW for UCSB and a graduate student in the Department of Mathematics, said he was pleased the two parties had come to terms on a new contract.
“This is a solid deal, in terms of wage increases and other economic benefits,” Ackermann said. “It is not as awesome as maybe some members would like, but we do think it is a good deal. All in all, we are encouraging members to ratify.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition on page 3 of the Daily Nexus on Thursday, June 5, 2014