2013-2014 Contract Campaign
Our contract is renegotiated every three years. We started bargaining in June 2013, and bargaining ended in June 2014. The bargaining team members from Berkeley were former Unit Chair Munira Lokhandwala (on the right) and former Recording Secretary Amanda Armstrong (on the left).
A “union contract” is the legal document that lays out our rights and benefits as student workers in the UC system (just like a contract you sign if you rent an apartment, or buy a house or a car). First and foremost, the contract is the document that both we and the UC sat down and agreed to, which says that we are a union and that the UC has to negotiate with the union when it wants to make changes to our working conditions. The effort to negotiate the first contract with the UC took more than 10 years, in large part because the UC claimed that what a TA or reader or tutor does isn’t actually work–it’s just part of our “educational training.”
Our first contract in 1999 established:
- The right to our tuition and fees covered by the university.
- Our right to paid health care, including vision and dental.
- Our right to appointment notification and security.
- Parental, medical and emergency leave.
- A grievance process so that if we are being mistreated , we have a binding way to solve problems with the help of other union members.
Contract negotiations are one of our major opportunities to come together across each campus and decide what needs to be improved in our working lives. For example, in the last contract negotiation we won a 4-5% raise for each year of the contract, and we were able to double the childcare subsidy that UC offers to working student parents. The advances we win in bargaining also influence the working conditions of other categories of grad student employees, like GSRs. For example, the childcare subsidies won for GSIs were recently extended to GSRs.
Our most recent campaign encompassed a wide range of interrelated demands:
For a full list of the bargaining demands, see our Sunshine Demands here.
All bargaining sessions are open to membership, so in the future, please feel free to stop by and observe firsthand! Bargaining sessions take place all over the state, but meetings in Berkeley will be listed on our calendar of events.
To learn more about the bargaining process, look through the bargaining updates that were posted throughout the process:
Bargaining Update#9, from October 21st and 22nd….coming soon!