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How to Vote and FAQ

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How Does a Strike Authorization Vote Work?

UC-AFT’s strike authorization vote will be conducted using an independent online elections platform called ElectionBuddy. Voting will open on Monday, May 24 at 8:00am PDT and will close on Friday, May 28 at 8:00pm PDT. 

At the start of the voting period, all teaching faculty (Unit 18) UC-AFT members will receive a unique, single-use voting link in your email that will direct you to the online ballot. The email will come from ElectionBuddy Elections (  with the subject line: “Vote now: UC-AFT - Strike Authorization Vote”. If you submitted a cell phone number through the Strike Pledge form, you will also receive a text message with your voting link via sms. You can vote by following the link in either your email or the text message, but you will only be allowed to vote once.

When you receive the email or text message, simply click the voting link to be taken directly to the ballot. You will be asked to vote either “YES” to authorize our negotiating team to call a legal, protected strike of a week or less no sooner than fall 2021, or “NO” to not authorize a legal, protected strike. After selecting a choice, you will click “Verify your selection” to move to the next step. You must then click “Submit ballot” to finish casting your vote.

Once you cast your ballot, your vote is final and cannot be changed. So, please vote carefully, especially if voting via phone. This election is a secret ballot, and nobody will know how you voted.


Click a question to expand or close.

What is a strike authorization vote?

A strike authorization vote is a standard part of our union’s democratic decision-making process. A majority “yes” vote for strike authorization means that a majority of members have given our colleagues on the negotiation team the authority to call a strike if it becomes necessary. The vote does not mean we will go on strike right away, but that we have the option to go on strike if circumstances justify.

Why are we holding this vote now?

UC lecturers have been negotiating the terms of our employment with UC management for over two years. While your colleagues on the negotiating team have made some gains at the bargaining table, UC management has not responded to our key proposals for consistent evaluation and rehiring processes, reasonable workload standards, and fair compensation. A credible strike threat is our greatest source of collective power and may give us the leverage at the bargaining table we need to win a fair contract. 

Who decided to call this vote? 

Thousands of lecturers who’ve attended our open bargaining sessions have said they will not sign a contract without meaningful proposals that address rehiring process, workload, and compensation. Witnessing management’s contempt and disdain motivated many of them to join the Contract Action Team, where they have spent months reaching out to their colleagues and understanding their struggles and perspectives. Democratically-elected union leaders on each campus too have been in constant dialogue with lecturers on their campuses. In accordance with the democratic decision-making processes of UC-AFT, the Contract Campaign Committee—composed of representatives from each of these bodies—collectively decided to call the vote. 

If I vote yes, will I be required to go on strike?

No. Voting “yes” does not require that you strike if a strike is called. However, a credible

strike threat and mass participation are our greatest source of collective power. As lecturers, we often feel isolated, precarious, and overwhelmed, especially during this past pandemic year. UC management prefers it that way, insisting on absolute and arbitrary management rights that continually force lecturers out of the UC. Our union is the vehicle through which we can together transform our teaching gigs into meaningful and sustainable careers that will allow us to find dignity in our work, to continue teaching and mentoring our students, and to put down roots with our families in the communities in which we live.

If we vote yes, will we strike immediately?

No. The authorization vote gives our colleagues on the negotiation team the authority to call a legal, protected strike of a week or less when circumstances deem it necessary and no sooner than fall 2021. Our union is working to make sure that if a strike is called, it will be through democratic processes that take into account the working conditions of all members. It’s only through mass participation and union democracy that we win meaningful change for ourselves and our students.

What will happen to our students if we vote to authorize a strike?

Voting to authorize a strike does not mean we will go on strike immediately and will have no impact on our students. Our democratic decision-making process relies on close communication with our members and student allies, and several student organizations and clubs have pledged to join us in organizing for a better, fairer, and stronger university. In the chance that we do decide to strike, which will be no sooner than fall 2021, we will make sure that all our members have the tools and resources they need to reach out to their students, explain the situation, teach the issues, and invite them to join our fight to improve the quality of education at UC.

Can I be fired or disciplined for voting to authorize a strike?

No. According to both federal and state law, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for participation in union activities, including a strike authorization vote. The vote will be anonymous and confidential.

How will I receive a ballot?

All members will be emailed a unique link to an online secret ballot on Monday, May 24 at 8am PST. Members will also receive a text if we have a current non-work cell phone number. Voting will close on Friday, May 28 at 8 pm PST. If you do not receive your ballot, contact as soon as possible. 

What do I do if I didn’t receive my voting link?

First, check your junk mail folder, promotions tab, or anywhere else where your email might have filtered the message. Make sure to check any email accounts that may be associated with your UC-AFT membership, including both personal and work accounts. You should also try searching for messages from “”. 

Second, contact for assistance. To expedite assisting you, please include your full name, campus, personal (non-UC) email address, work (UC) email address, and mobile phone number.

Will voting happen in person?

No. Voting will be done using an online secret ballot system that is anonymous and confidential. You’ll receive a unique link via email on Monday, May 24 at 8 am PST. Voting will close Friday, May 28 at 8 pm PST.

What if I’m not a UC-AFT member? Can I still vote?

No. Only teaching faculty who are dues paying UC-AFT members are eligible to vote. If you are not a member, you may sign up for membership online. New members who sign up during the voting period must do so before Friday, May 21 at 5pm PDT to be ensured an opportunity to cast a ballot in this vote. New members will be added to the voting list periodically throughout the vote.

Can I vote if I’m a K-12 instructor in Unit 18?

Yes. All Unit-18 members are eligible to vote. Preuss School teachers are prohibited by the terms of their school-specific side letter from going on strike. However, as members of Unit 18, they are eligible to vote to authorize a strike. Preuss School teachers should think of themselves as voting on whether to authorize their Unit 18 colleagues elsewhere in the UC to call a strike.

I’m not returning in the fall, or I don’t know yet if I will return in the fall, should I vote?

Yes. All current Unit-18 members should vote regardless of their appointment status for fall. A “yes” strike authorization vote sends UC management a powerful message that we are ready and willing to fight for a better workplace.

I have questions I’d like to ask before I vote.  Where can I get answers?

Your fellow lecturers are holding several informational discussions on zoom. You can register here for those sessions or using the links below.

May 19th: 10:30 - 11 AM  and 7 - 7:30 PM

May 20th: 10:30 - 11 AM  and 7 - 7:30 PM

May 21st: 4 -5 PM

During the voting period, you can join a virtual “Vote Along” at noon every day from May 24th to May 28th during which lecturers will discuss and cast their votes together. Or, send your questions to to receive an answer from one of your fellow lecturers.

How can I get involved in the contract campaign?

There are many ways to get involved, from being part of our Contract Action Team network to student organizing. We’re stronger when we work together! Contact to get in touch with your campus chapter and join our campaign.

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