Below are some highlights of the rights and protections guaranteed by the contract covering all Academic Student Employees (ASEs) at UC (you can read our full contract here: http://www.uaw2865.org/about/current-uaw-contract/). If any of these rights are being violated, the union is here to help! Contact one of the elected representatives to talk about your problem. Grievance resolution often happens informally; contacting the union about your problem does not commit you to any formal grievance procedure. Our contract is only meaningful if these rights and protections are enforced, so contacting the union about a violation helps you and all of us.
Appointment Notification and Appointment Security
When you are hired you should be issued an appointment notification letter, which states the dates you are expected to work, how many hours, and what your pay and benefits are. If you accept an appointment, that job is then guaranteed. If your section is canceled after you’re hired, the university either has to reassign you to another section or pay you anyway. You are also entitled to supplemental documentation that details what course you will be assigned to and what your specific duties will be. This should be in the form of a checklist, filled out by your supervisor.
You are entitled to pay for all duties related to your appointment, including reading course material, attending lecture, preparing for discussion, answering student e-mails, etc. It also means you can’t be required to work more than the hours you are paid for. For a GSI/TA working at 50%, this means that you cannot be asked to work more than 370 hours during the semester. This should average 20 hours a week. You cannot be asked to work more than 40 hours in any week, or more than 8 hours in one day (this includes during exam time). The number of hours worked in excess of 20 hours per week may not total more than 77 hours per semester. If your duties ever exceed these amounts, your supervisor should reassign work to make the load manageable, or if that is impossible, your appointment percentage can be increased to reflect your actual working time. You can contact the union for help devising an individual or group solution to avoid overwork.
Any ASE working at least 25% time who has children through 12 years old is entitled to a $1350 per semester childcare cost reimbursement. ASEs with summer appointments are also eligible for a $900 subsidy. More about the subsidy and the form necessary to request it at: http://www.uaw2865.org/know-your-rights/childcare.
Full remission of in-state education and registration fees and health care premiums
Whenever students work at least 10 hours a week as a GSI/TA, Reader or Tutor (a 25% appointment or higher), the university pays 100% of our in-state tuition and registration fees.
ASEs are eligible to participate in the UC Student Health Insurance Program (UCSHIP). A grad student ASE with at least 25% employment is eligible for full heathcare fee remission without caps.
Medical, Family and other kinds of Leave
In addition to 3 paid sick days per semester, salaried ASEs appointed at 50% time are entitled to 3 days of paid short-term family-related leave per semester, which can be used for illness, disability or a family emergency. Salaried ASEs are also eligible for paid long-term leave up to six weeks. Up to six weeks of paid leave and two weeks of unpaid leave can be used for pregnancy, childbirth, and baby bonding (including child adoption); and up to four weeks of paid leave for serious illness of an ASE or to care for an ASE’s family member. Unused short-term leaves may be added onto long-term leaves where necessary to increase the amount of time that an ASE may be on leave.
Protections against sexual harassment and discrimination
Our contract protects against discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, medical condition, HIV status, status as a veteran, age, citizenship, political affiliation, union activity, and membership or non-membership in the union.
For more detail and other rights and protections, you can read the full contract at: http://www.uaw2865.org/about/current-uaw-contract/.