UC to Propose Contract to End Lecturer Dispute

Emma Schwartz covers labor. E-mail her at [email protected].





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UC officials are expected to release a contract offer to the lecturers' union today, union officials said yesterday.

Although details of the offer are still unknown, officials from the American Federation of Teachers said the union will likely reject the proposal because no consensus was reached during two days of negotiations with UC that started Monday.

Although UC officials could not be reached for comment yesterday after repeated phone calls and e-mails, UC spokesperson Paul Schwartz said Monday that UC officials continue to offer lecturers the best proposal possible given current state funding to the university.

"We continue to do everything within our control to bring these negotiations to a close," he said Monday.

At about 3 p.m. yesterday, Kevin Roddy, president of the UC chapter of AFT, said union officials were "optimistic" that a tentative agreement over arbitration-one issue of contention-would be reached.

The lecturers' union is demanding the new contract include a provision for a neutral third party to evaluate grievances between UC and employees.

"Today, (negotiations) look a little better," Roddy said at one point yesterday. "UC is more open to some ideas."

Only two and a half hours later, Roddy said UC had sharply reversed its offer.

"We came very close to a dead end," he said.

Union officials also alleged that UC officials delayed meeting with union officials for four hours Monday.

The meeting was scheduled for 10 a.m., said Sean Brooke, executive director of UC-AFT. "But it was after lunch time around 2 p.m. that some people met with UC officials."

UC officials could not be reached for comment regarding the alleged delays.

If the UC offer does not satisfy union members, Roddy said, another strike by lecturers is "certainly a possibility."

"People are furious," he said.

"How else are people going to see how angry we are about this treatment?"

Earlier this month, Gayle Cieszkiewicz, director of UC labor relations, said differences should be resolved at the bargaining table.

This round of negotiations was conducted with a state mediator, Marty Morgenstern, who also mediated negotiations between UC and the graduate student instructors' union in 2000.

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