Update on Academic Student Employee Labor Negotiations

UC bargains with United Auto Workers union over contract for Academic Student Employees

In March 2007, the University of California (UC) began negotiations with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union over a new contract for Academic Student Employees (ASE). The members of this bargaining unit, which includes teaching assistants, readers and tutors, play a critical role in providing the high-quality education for which UC is known. In addition, these positions support the continuing education of the appointed students, both through salary and through added benefits such as healthcare premium and in-state fee remissions.

Thus far, negotiations between UC and the UAW have proceeded steadily, thanks to the professionalism demonstrated by the bargaining parties. Outstanding issues currently under discussion include:

  • Workload
    The University is attentive to concerns regarding class size and maintains that it is the responsibility of UC faculty members to ensure the quality of their classes. The current contract allows a maximum work load of 220 hours each quarter for teaching assistants. The University understands that this limit is important to ensure that teaching assistants have enough time to devote to their own studies, and UC is proposing no change to this maximum.
  • Hiring
    Academic Student Employees are hired based on the needs of the University. The demands for ASEs, as well as the duties of ASEs, vary by campus, department and professor. Accordingly, the University cannot regulate hiring practices on a systemwide basis. Hiring practices themselves are not subject to negotiations.
  • Grievance Resolution
    The University is committed to addressing ASE workload grievances in a fair and timely manner. UC believes that the workload-resolution process currently in place works well for ASEs, UC faculty and the University as a whole.

UC employees help secure the University's reputation for excellence
The University works hard to recruit and retain excellent faculty and staff in order to provide the best education possible to UC students. Our ASEs play a critical role in the University's success. The University looks forward to continuing the discussion of all appropriate issues at the bargaining table.