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.

Following a historic strike authorization vote—in which members voted with an overwhelming majority of 96% to authorize a strike — UC-AFT entered impasse procedures and began mediation with President Drake’s negotiators. That means that the time for bargaining is over and the time for action is now!

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What We’re Fighting For

University Council - American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT) is the union representing over 6,800 teaching faculty working throughout the UC system. Our members hold academic appointments as lecturers, program coordinators, instructors, and supervisors of teacher education. We are skilled and experienced educators who often have the same training and credentials as our tenured colleagues and who teach 30% of credit courses at UC, including introductory level and core requirement classes at both the graduate and undergraduate level, that are critical to establishing a student’s academic career.


A fair contract for UC teaching faculty would:

  • Protect teaching faculty from mass layoffs in the short-run and, in the long-run, establish clear and transparent  career pathways, thereby transforming teaching “gigs” into more stable, full-time jobs.
  • Support students by ensuring instructional continuity, so that they can continue to learn from the skilled and experienced teachers and mentors they know and trust.
  • Contribute to our local and regional economies by improving wages, expanding access to healthcare, and allowing teaching faculty and their families to establish roots in cities and neighborhoods close to UC campus.

Every lecturer deserves a contract that includes:

  1. Reasonable workload standards that eliminate uncompensated workload and address lecturers’ unpaid service and professional development.
  2. Transparent, consistent appointment processes that bring job stability through rehiring preferences, unbiased evaluations, multi-year appointments for pre-six lecturers, and accessible pathways to promotion to Senior Lecturer for continuing lecturers.
  3. Fair compensation that reflects our training, experience, and contributions to our university and will keep up with the rising cost of living in California.

I 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


I 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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Where We Stand

On October 11 at 10pm, negotiators from UC President Michael Drake’s office emailed your table team a binding proposal that moves toward us on job stability. These gains are significant and your hard work and active support of our campaign made them possible. However, there are still issues remaining as management has not adequately addressed our core demands around job stability, workload and compensation. Join a campaign event on your campus to help us get the contract UC lecturers deserve!

What We're Fighting For
What Our Union Has Proposed
What’s in UCOP’s new (10/11) proposal
What UCOP’s 10/11 proposal is missing
What’s the Bottom Line?
Job Stability
What Our Union Has ProposedMultiyear contracts; Fair, transparent, and consistent reviews; rehiring preferences; pathway to senior lecturer
What’s in UCOP’s new (10/11) proposal1-2-3 year appointment structure leading to Excellence Review. Evaluations after second (and subsequent) appointments and “priority for reappointment” if lecturers are deemed effective and there are classes to teach.
What UCOP’s 10/11 proposal is missingThere are big loopholes that management will exploit to give contracts outside of this structure and let people go with no justification.
What’s the Bottom Line?You could still get churned.

We need to close the loopholes to make sure the multi-year structure works for everyone.
What Our Union Has ProposedSalary scale based on workload and experience with variable raises increasing from 3% to 5%.
What’s in UCOP’s new (10/11) proposal3% annual raises through the end of their proposed contract (5-year duration).
What UCOP’s 10/11 proposal is missingThe cost of living in many parts of California is rising by 5.9% per year. The raises offered will not keep up with inflation.
What’s the Bottom Line?You could actually be earning less with this contract than you are now.

We need to raise real wages for all to keep pace with the rising cost of living.
What Our Union Has ProposedReasonable workload standards that reflect service and work outside the classroom and credit adjustments when class sizes/duties change.
What’s in UCOP’s new (10/11) proposalUC admin has agreed to post information about departmental workload policies on campus websites.
What UCOP’s 10/11 proposal is missingThe primary workload problems we experience remain carved out from neutral, third-party arbitration, making the proposal unenforceable. There’s also no clear definition of instructional workload credits (IWCs).
What’s the Bottom Line?You would still have no way to challenge workload disputes.

We need clearer workload terms and standard mechanisms for resolving workload disputes.

Stay up to date with our Bargaining Blog.

I 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



I’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


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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.