UC-AFT Calls for Timely Unit 18 Faculty Reviews at UC Berkeley

Vice Provost of Faculty Victoria Plaut and Executive Vice Provost of Academic Affairs Heather Archer

We are writing to express our concern regarding serious delays to merit and promotion cases for Unit 18 faculty and the lack of communication between the Academic Personnel Office, deans, departments, and the Union in relation to the merit/promotion process and ensuing delays.

Following reports from our members, UC-AFT filed a union grievance concerning the backlog of excellence reviews, merit reviews, and senior lecturer promotion reviews for all our lecturers. Achieving Continuing Lecturer status and receiving merit promotions and senior lecturer promotions are not only a cornerstone of our collective bargaining agreement with the University, but a significant step in lecturers’ careers at the University of California.

Upon filing this grievance, UC-AFT learned that dozens of lecturers have waited, in some cases, over a year, for a completed review. This has had dire financial consequences and has impacted our lecturers’ career stability. We also came to understand that these delays have also impacted all academic employees at the University. It was our hope to be able to work with the University to be able to ensure timely execution of these reviews and create safeguards to ensure that this backlog would not occur again in the future.

While Employee and Labor Relations has worked with us to resolve this issue, we don’t have confidence that University Administration will take the steps necessary to clear the backlog of reviews and prevent another backlog from occurring. This failure of communication–not just between Administration and Non-Senate Faculty, but between the Academic Personnel Office and Dean’s Offices–is completely unacceptable. The absence of any plan to remedy this backlog in the foreseeable future shows a deep disrespect for the work that we perform as non-senate faculty. As lecturers, fieldwork coordinators, and supervisors, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and expect that our administrators do the same.

We therefore demand that the University engage in the grievance process and take the following steps to ensure a swift and transparent remedy for all those impacted:

  • Communicate an end date for the processing of backlogged reviews

  • Address all faculty with an apology that identifies key factors in this backlog

  • Develop safeguards to ensure that, moving forward, reviews will be processed in a timely manner

  • Ensure that retroactive pay is distributed in a timely, transparent manner, including any penalties for late wages and the financial harm late payments may have caused

  • Assess and resolve any payroll and benefits errors that may have incurred for individuals due to a late review, such as lecturers now teaching into their thirteenth or fourteenth semester without a completed excellence review

To: Vice Provost of Faculty Victoria Plaut and Executive Vice Provost of Academic Affairs Heather Archer
From: [Your Name]

UC-AFT faculty have been deeply impacted by the backlog of reviews, and deserve answers. We ask that the University take serious steps to remedy this situation.