A vision for what we as union members, workers and students believe would bring UC closer to the model of a university with a truly public mission to serve its students, workers, faculty and communities.
Democratic governance of the university.
From top to bottom, UC should be governed by democratic structures with representation from students, workers and faculty. The current body and system of the Regents is not representative of the interests or needs of the UC community. Our union should work with students, faculty and workers to develop a vision for and then help fight for equal, directly elected representation for students, workers, faculty, and the general public on the Board of Regents. On our campuses and in our departments, we should also promote and work for democratic decision-making; the teachers, students and staff of academic programs should decide on the funding needs of their programs, not executive administrators.
Prioritizing classroom education
UC Executives have slashed departments and classes from Romance languages at UCLA and Irvine to Psychology at UCLA. Our union needs to be on the front lines to stop these cuts.
While we must work to restore public funding to the UC (and other vital public services), we must also fight for current public funding to be directed toward academics and essential student services. Funding for instructors, classroom education and university libraries should be the last to be cut–executive salaries, administrative budgets and real estate investments, for example, should not have priority. As teachers, we know that small class sizes are essential to the education of our students. We also believe that teaching should be a priority and valued as such for all levels of faculty.
Accessible education and environment for all communities of students
Our union should work with students to restore California’s Master Plan of free tuition and open admissions for institutions of higher education. The consequences of the new “tuition” levels at UC are especially felt by students from low-income families and communities of color. Together with CSU and community colleges, UC can guarantee admission and adequate financial support now for every Californian as the first step towards restoration of free tuition and open admissions. Transferring between community colleges, CSUs, and UCs must be made simple and accessible. Adequate financial support must be extended to undocumented students. Loans are not a solution to the problem.
Challenging Discrimination and Oppression
Accessibility does not just mean affordability or having a place in the university, it also means creating educational and social spaces that are available and welcoming to all students. Our union should fight to create and expand university programs that challenge and investigate systemic oppression on the basis of race, gender, and sexuality. Immediately, we as a union should organize to stop the dismantling of key institutions like African American Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies.
An equitable and beneficial employer
The UC must be a just employer for all of its workers. It is unacceptable that employees of the UC do not make living wages, and even more intolerable that any are living below the poverty line. Our union must support other unions efforts to “in-source” all employees of the UC and reject tiered systems of pay and benefits. Our union should fight the casualization of the workforce, which affects academic employees. Employment security should exist for all faculty, not only tenure-tracks.
Engaged in our communities and in California
The UC is seen as one of the state’s greatest assets as an educational institution, a source of employment, and for its contributions to research and innovation. We believe the university should cultivate supportive relationships with our local communities.