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We Teach UC

UC-AFT is fighting to strengthen job stability and provide career pathways for all teaching faculty; to improve wages and benefits so that all teaching faculty have access to healthcare and can provide for their families; and to ensure fair compensation and workload that reflects our training, experience, and contributions to the UC. With your participation, we can together build a more equitable UC, one in which every student has the mentorship and support they need, excellent teaching is valued, and every UC worker is afforded dignity and respect.

We have a Tentative Agreement!

We would not have won this tremendous victory without you. Thousands of you have written letters to administrators; joined our open bargaining sessions on Zoom; submitted public comments to the UC Regents; tweeted at President Drake; and joined car caravans, virtual rallies, and in-person actions before the pandemic began. We are so grateful to have you on #TeamUCAFT.

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What We Won

After announcing our intention to strike and two marathon days of negotiations with UC management, the UC-AFT table team announced we have reached a Tentative Agreement on a new contract — the strongest in UC-AFT history and, we believe, among the best in the nation for contingent faculty. Our Agreement makes major progress on job security, workload, and compensation, including:

  • Groundbreaking job security protections that create opportunities for professional advancement for lecturers at every stage of their careers.
  • Raised salary floor and improved compensation for all lecturers, as well as annual cost-of-living adjustments for each year of the contract.
  • Greater consistency, transparency, and enforceability of workload issues.
  • All lecturers will now be eligible for 4 weeks of fully paid leave to bond with a new child or care for ailing family members. 

When we fight, we win!

Photo of Leslie Lopez, Community Studies Program, UCSCI am the only income-earner for my family at the moment and pay 75% of my check to our rent. Currently I specialize in developing and teaching university-community engagement programs: bilingual education; legal aid and advocacy; community research. Without job security, programs like these are always at risk of losing the lecturers who make them work. In our community, that means cascading displacement and disaster: losing more place-based knowledge (the people) and community infrastructure - our shelter and networks. —Leslie Lopez, Community Studies Program, UCSC
Photo of Jean-Paul R. Contreras deGuzman, Asian American Studies, UCLA and UCSBI have lost track of how many students I’ve taught at UCLA and UCSB in 6 different departments since 2015. Whether we teach one class a year or a full load, at one campus or multiple, lecturers perform the heavy lifting of the university. In Ethnic Studies in particular we don’t just teach and grade: we guide, mentor, and empower. —Jean-Paul R. Contreras deGuzman, Asian American Studies, UCLA and UCSB

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Who We Are


We are public servants working to shape the next generation of citizens, scholars, and leaders. As skilled and experienced teaching professionals, we provide crucial mentorship and support to UC’s most marginalized and historically underserved student populations.


Our solidarity creates community, making shared governance and collective action possible. When we work together, we can transform bad “gigs” into more stable, full-time and dignified careers. As part of a national union of educators and scholars, we fight to defend public education and our communities. 


We envision a better UC, one in which every student has the mentorship and support they deserve, in which institutional memory and experience is valued, and in which every worker receives dignity and respect.

Photo of David Walter, English Department, UC Berkeley and UC DavisI have been teaching literature, philosophy, and creative writing and filmmaking to undergrads at Berkeley and Davis for ten years and I still have no protection from being laid off and have to reapply for my job every year. More than ever, students need to learn to tell their stories and express their thoughts to each other, to the world, and to our leaders who are making decisions for them. When the UC denies me job security, they hurt my ability to reach these students and help send them into the world inspired and prepared to meet the challenges ahead of them. – David Walter, English Department, UC Berkeley and UC Davis
Photo of Alison Lipman, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, UCLAI’ve been an ecologist and conservationist for over 25 years. I have shared that experience with 1000s of students I teach at UCLA. More and more, they want to learn everything they can about what we can all do, as individuals and as a society, to ensure this planet remains livable. Without job security, I would lose the opportunity to mentor them during this very important time in their life paths, and I wouldn't be able to afford to keep a roof over my son’s head. – Alison Lipman, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, UCLA

Follow on Twitter @ucaft, Facebook @ucaft, Instagram @uc_aft, and use #WeTeachUC.