Editor's note: The projects department staff of The Daily Californian updated this article as contract negotiations between the UC system and the bargaining units continued.
Update 11/29/2022: UAW Local 5810 and the UC system reached tentative contract agreements for academic researchers and postdoctoral scholars the night of Nov. 28, 2022. Until union membership ratifies the contract agreements, academic researchers and postdoctoral scholars are on strike “in sympathy” with the units still at the bargaining table: student researchers and academic student employees.
Update 12/10/2022: The membership of UAW Local 5810 — the union representing postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers — voted to ratify their contracts with the UC system. Like their previous contracts, the new agreements prohibit strikes that interfere with UC operations. Student researchers and academic student employees, represented by SRU-UAW and UAW Local 2865, remain on strike.
Update 12/16/2022: UAW Local 2865 and SRU-UAW reached tentative agreements on their respective contracts with the UC system. However, the contracts have yet to be ratified by the unions' memberships. This article was updated to reflect this information.
Update 12/23/2022: The memberships of the UAW Local 2865 and SRU-UAW ratified the tentative contract agreements set forth Dec. 16. This article was updated to reflect this information.
Following a week of voting, four bargaining units of UAW — which collectively represent more than 40,000 academic student employees, academic researchers, postdoctoral scholars and student researchers across the UC system — announced a historic authorization to strike.
The systemwide strike began Nov. 14. However, the four contracts ratified by union memberships in December prohibit strike authorizations.
In the months leading up to the strike, the UC system and each of the four bargaining units had engaged in separate contract negotiations. Each negotiation between the UC system and a bargaining unit consisted of more than 20 articles concerning workplace policies for wages, layoffs, housing and much more.
In addition to proposals for specific articles within a contract, negotiation processeses contained pay scales, appendices and side letters — often clarifying the terms of other proposals. Proposals and tentative agreements for pay scales, appendices and side letters are included in this article.
As the UC system and the unions negotiated, they employed a variety of bargaining techniques. Often, parties compiled proposals into packages, where the bargaining teams had the opportunity to tentatively agree upon multiple articles at a time. Many of these proposal packages allowed unions and the UC system to keep language from their previous contracts.
Yet, the proposal history for some articles is less straightforward — with some having more than 15 proposals. Despite lengthy negotiations, parties have also moved to wipe entire portions of their contracts by withdrawing them.
This Daily Californian tool followed all four negotiations as they reached agreements on their contracts. Now that the unions have ratified their contracts, the tool links to the language of each section of the new contracts — along with the date that portion's language was tentatively agreed upon. For each of the four negotiations on wages, a more complete proposal history is linked.
Academic student employees, or ASEs, are represented by UAW Local 2865. ASEs consist of more than 19,000 tutors, readers, graduate student instructors and teaching assistants at the UC system, according to the UAW Local 2865's website.
The UAW Local 2865's last contract with the UC system was originally due to expire June 30, 2022. That contract — which would have prohibited the union's strike authorization — was only extended to Oct. 1, 2022. On Dec. 16, the union and the UC system tentatively agreed upon the entire contract, which was ratified by UAW Local 2865 membership by Dec. 23. This new contract should be in effect until May 31, 2025.
As of Dec. 16, 2022 at 6:03 p.m., 44 tentative agreements were met between the UC system and the UAW Local 2865.
On June 2, 2022, the appointment security article reached a tentative agreement, ensuring some protections for ASEs in the event that a position an ASE accepts is no longer available.
The classifications article saw a tentative agreement Nov. 17, 2022. The agreement allows UC campuses to appoint ASEs into positions with the titles specified in the recognition article.
Proposals from UAW Local 2865 for the class sizes article have asked the UC campuses to post projected classes sizes from each academic department on central campus websites. The Dec. 16 tentative agreement on ASEs' contract does not include a class sizes article.
This article has one Sept. 21, 2022, proposal from the UAW Local 2865 bargaining team. This proposal asked the UC system to defund UC police departments’ budgets and refrain from calling law enforcement to UC campuses, among other demands. The Dec. 16 tentative agreement on ASEs' contract does not include a community safety article.
Defined contribution and university retirement plans
The UC system and the bargaining unit tentatively agreed on a proposal to this article, setting up a policy for the UC system’s contribution to ASEs’ retirement plans.
On March 16, 2022, a tentative agreement was reached on the definitions article, along with some other articles, as part of a package of proposals that maintained the policy from previous contracts.
Discipline and dismissal
Maintaining the previous contract between the UC system and the union for emergency layoffs, a tentative agreement was reached for this article March 16, 2022, as part of a package of proposals.
Employment files and evaluations
Fee remission is offered to graduate student instructors, graduate student readers, readers and tutors to offset fees, including those for tuition, health insurance, student services and more, according to the Berkeley Graduate Division website. Policy for ASEs' fee remission was tentatively agreed upon Dec. 16.
Grievance and arbitration
Health and safety
UAW Local 2865 and the UC system tentatively agreed upon a proposal March 2, 2022, regarding holidays, excusing ASEs from many responsibilities on designated holidays.
The Dec. 16 tentative agreement on ASEs' contract does not include a housing article.
International scholars and immigrant support
Labor management meetings
The parties tentatively agreed on a proposal for labor management meetings March 16, 2022, as part of a package of proposals that maintained the policy from previous contracts.
Management and academic rights
A proposal from the UC system dated April 19, 2022, demanded that there should be “no strikes, including sympathy strikes, stoppages or interruptions of work.” Negotiation continues for this article.
Nondiscrimination in employment
Parking and transit
The Dec. 16 tentative agreement on ASEs' contract does not include a peer-led trainings article.
Proposals for the reasonable accommodations article have concerned the extent and grounds for access accommodations afforded to ASEs with disabilities. Both parties came to a tentative agreement on reasonable accommodations for ASEs Nov. 30, 2022.
The one standing proposal for this article is from UAW Local 2865. It bargains for a $5,000 relocation benefit for doctoral students looking to move close to their location of their work. The Dec. 16 tentative agreement on ASEs' contract does not include a relocation benefit article.
Respectful work environment
As part of a package of proposals dated May 10, 2022, the past practices article was retracted, and both the UC system and UAW Local 2865 tentatively agreed on a proposal for the waiver article.
UAW Local 2865 and the UC system tentatively agreed on this article March 16 as part of a package of proposals that maintained the language from the previous contract.
Training and orientation
Union access and rights
By the Sept. 23, 2022, tentative agreement on union security, the UC system will provide a list of ASEs by name and department to the union. The agreement includes guidelines for fees and the union membership election form for new ASEs – which will be accompanied by Appendix YY.
The UC system and UAW Local 2865 have come to a tentative agreement on yearly salary increases and base pay for both graduate and undergraduate ASEs, but the entire proposal history for this article will remain listed. The Dec. 16 tentative agreement contains a pay table and multiple sections.
Wages side letter
The Nov. 18, 2022, tentative agreement on the workload article established hourly workloads for teaching assistants, readers, tutors and instructors of record. The agreement also guides the UC system’s response to ASEs who are about to go over their hourly workload for the day, week or term.
Workspace materials and instructional support
A March 16, 2022, tentative agreement maintains the parties' previous contract agreement on workspace materials and instructional support, which was passed as part of a package of proposals.
The duration article of the 2018 contract between UAW Local 2865 and the UC system originally stated that it would last until June 30, 2022. The union and the UC system tentatively agreed this new contract should last terminate May 31, 2025.
The proposal history for the preamble consists of one proposal from the UC system, but the Dec. 16 tentative agreement does not include a preamble.
On Sept. 21, 2022, the union and the UC system tentatively agreed on Appendix YY — which is sent out to new ASEs along with a union membership election form. Appendix YY states that the UC system neither discourages or encourages UAW Local 2865 membership.
Joint labor management committee
Proposals for other side letters and articles have listed objectives for this committee on workplace accessibility. A tentative agreement was reached Nov. 30, 2022, setting the goals and agenda of the joint labor management committee.
Berkeley staffing side letter
The Oct. 27, 2022, union proposal for this side letter aimed to increase staffing for courses within the statistics, data science and electrical engineering and computer sciences departments at UC Berkeley.
Summer funding side letter
There was one UC proposal regarding this side letter, but it did not make into the tentative contract agreement.
Off-scale payments side letter
There is one UC proposal regarding this side letter, but it did not make into the tentative contract agreement.
Extension of previous contract
The previous contract between the UC system and the UAW Local 2865 was set to expire June 30, 2022. That contract — which barred the union from authorizing strikes — was only extended to Oct. 1, 2022.
Academic researchers, or ARs, are represented by UAW Local 5810, the union that also represents postdocs. ARs in the union consist of nearly 5,000 project scientists, specialists, professional researchers and coordinators of public programs at the UC system, according to the UAW Local 5810 website.
Before taking effect, the AR bargaining team had come to tentative agreements on portions of the union's contract with the UC system. In December 2022, union's membership of ARs ratified the contract, which prohibits strike authorizations and will remain in effect until Sept. 30, 2027.
A tentative agreement on recognition was reached June 24, 2022, as part of a package of proposals. The package agreement maintained the language of eight articles from the previous contract between the UAW Local 5810 and the UC system.
Benefits and retirement programs
The UAW Local 5810’s proposals have included eligibility for enrollment in health and retirement plans and a $10 per month cap on increases to AR contributions for benefit plans. After one package and one proposal, parties moved to maintain their previous contract language for this article on Nov. 28, 2022.
Health benefits plan changes for 2023
Parties tentatively agreed to withdraw this article Nov. 28, 2022. Previously, parties had negotiated the extent of coverage of mental health, gender-affirming and IVF treatments. None of those terms were used in their earlier contract.
Bridge funding is provided by the UC system to ensure the continuity of an AR's research during periods of insufficient external funding. A Nov. 12, 2022 package from UAW Local 5180 set forth guidelines for ARs' eligibility for bridge funding of up to $100,000. However, a Nov. 28, 2022 tentative agreement forwards a Nov. 19, 2022 proposal that states the joint labor management committee should convene to discuss bridge funding.
In November 2022, the UAW Local 5810 withdrew its child care proposal asking the UC system to subsidize UC child care programs for ARs. The union’s last contract did not contain a child care article.
While a tentative agreement was reached Nov. 28, 2022, the complete proposal history is attached for this article.
Coordinator of public programs series
Coordinators of public programs, or CPPs, are ARs that oversee programs that serve the public in education, health and labor. In mid-November, both parties reached a tentative agreement on eligibility criteria, longer terms of appointments and promotion guidelines for CPPs.
Corrective action and dismissal
The UC system and the UAW Local 5810 reached a tentative agreement as part of a package proposal Sept. 30, 2022 on what corrective actions the UC system can take to address ARs’ potential misconduct, subpar performance or violation of UC policy.
Grievance and arbitration procedures
Health and safety
In August 2022, both parties tentatively agreed that the UC system and the union share the responsibility of maintaining a safe working environment with proper equipment.
In June 2022, both parties tentatively agreed on 14 holidays, including Juneteenth. ARs whose projects require working on holidays should receive an alternate day off under the agreement.
Housing and relocation
On Nov. 12, 2022, the UAW Local 5180 proposed that the UC system make UC-provided housing available for all ARs with rent that is no more than 30% of their salary. If UC housing is not available, the UC system should pay ARs in subsidies, under the union’s proposal. On Nov. 28, 2022, UAW Local 5810 withdrew this article as part of a tentative package agreement.
International scholar and immigrant support
On Nov. 19, 2022, the UAW Local 5810 withdrew their proposal for this new article.
Labor management meetings
Both parties came to a tentative agreement on labor management meetings in June 2022 as part of a package that maintained the language of eight articles from their previous contract.
Layoff and reduction in time
Leaves of absence
Management and academic rights
On Nov. 13, 2022, both parties reached a tentative agreement on an Aug. 26, 2022 UC proposal that outlines the rights of the UC system’s faculty and academic administrators.
Medical separation is a separation from employment when an AR is unable to perform the essential assigned functions of their position due to a disability. In a package with four other articles, both parties reached a tentative agreement in early November to maintain previous contract language on medical separation.
In multiple proposal packages, the UC system has proposed to maintain the previous contract language prohibiting strikes; the union’s June 24, 2022 response contained the previous contract’s version of this article, written in striked out text. However, both parties tentatively agreed on the previous contract language for this article Nov. 28, 2022, barring union strikes.
Nondiscrimination in employment
Out of unit movement
In a package proposal with 4 other articles, UAW Local 5180 and the UC system reached a tentative agreement Nov. 11, 2022, to maintain previous contract language on out of unit movement.
Parking and transit
Language from recent proposals in November from the UC system are showing the integration of university-provided and low-carbon emission transit options for ARs. Negotiations resulted in a Nov. 28, 2022 tentative package agreement on the Nov. 23, 2022 UC system proposal linked below.
Past practice not covered by agreement
Professional research series
Professional researchers are represented by the UAW Local 5180. In mid-November 2022, both parties reached a tentative agreement on eligibility criteria, longer terms of appointments and promotion guidelines for professional researchers.