Editorial

    The University of California and the University Council – American Federation of Teachers have been at odds with each other over a new contract for the past two years. The main points of the negotiations, according to the union, are salary, a pay scale rather than a pay range, and increased job security.

    With regards to the salary, the Guardian feels that the university is being more than fair with its offer. California’s budget is deep in the red; large cuts have already been made to the UC budget. The current monetary offer is a goodwill gesture toward the union that the union should accept. It raises salaries for both pre-six-year lecturers and post-six-year lecturers, and also provides for a 4-percent raise to begin the following year. With a large budget shortfall, the union should accept this offer.

    The pay scale, it is argued by the union, is fairer than a pay range because it pays people who have put in the time. The university maintains that it should pay people based on merit rather than simply the time that they have been teaching. The Guardian feels that if someone is not doing an exceptional job, they should not be rewarded more than someone whose performance is stellar simply because of seniority. The pay range allows the university to reward lecturers who do a good job rather than those who simply do enough to get by and automatically rise through the ranks.

    The final issue is job security. The union wants a formal review process to determine whether a lecturer will be offered a three-year contract after the six-year probationary period is up. The union is currently alleging that the university is not offering three-year contracts to all lecturers in an attempt to save money. The Guardian feels that a formal review process should be implemented after the six-year probationary contract, but the university should be free to set any guidelines it deems necessary for passing that review. The union could then be satisfied that nobody was being let go without a review, and the university could set the standards it deems necessary for retaining lecturers.

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