How UC Berkeley goes beyond the strike

How UC Berkeley goes beyond the strike

How UC Berkeley goes beyond the strike

Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Benjamin Hermalin sent the following message to the campus community on Thursday:

As we begin the spring semester and look forward to the start of teaching, we want to take a moment to reflect on the 2022 UAW contract negotiations and strike and begin charting a path forward.

We have to recognize that we are starting 2023 in a very different place than a year ago. The strike has affected everyone in our campus community and will have a lasting impact. While the strike is over, the post-strike reconstruction work has only just begun.

Come together

The process of negotiating a new employment contract inevitably puts the employer and union members at odds with each other. We recognize that there have been many differences of opinion throughout the process, sometimes with strong emotions. At the same time, we firmly believe that there is more that unites us than divides us. We hope that we will be able to put aside all lingering divisions and move forward to advance our common goals. Many of our efforts going forward, as noted below, are directed toward the critical need to heal and rebuild our community.

Impacts on financial and human resources

The strike and resulting collective agreements also have financial and human resource implications, raising practical challenges, such as how we account for time not worked by striking employees and how to fund increased costs. associated with new contracts.

These are just some of the questions we wrestle with. For most responses, we are awaiting further guidance from the Office of the UC President. We know people are hungry for answers and we’re doing everything we can to get them to you as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience as we work through these issues in an effort to answer questions and provide direction. We encourage you to rely on official academic sources for information, such as UCOP, Employee and Labor Relations (ELR), Academic Personnel Office (APO), and the Post-Strike Recovery website. which was created.

Additionally, we know that a number of trainings are needed, for example within the BRS organization, for our GSAOs, Sponsored Projects Office and Industry Alliances Office on new pay rates, how to create GSR/GSI milestones, postdoctoral increments and academic researchers. increases in grants and budgets. Training for faculty (including principal investigators), department heads, academic staff analysts, and others who may supervise UAW workers under the new contract will also be required.

Go forward

To help guide our efforts, we have established a structure similar to that used for the COVID-19 pandemic, which involves distributing the work among working groups, with overall central coordination. There are five main areas of work:

  • Financial planning — Forward-looking financial modeling, UAW contract implementation, contract billing, training, and effort reporting for the strike period.

  • Academic/pedagogical planning — Resolution of fall semester grading issues, re-engagement with GSIs and UGSIs, long-term implications on undergraduate teaching.

  • Faculty experience — Manage relationships with funders (e.g., research funded by federal agencies), address concerns about lost research productivity, repair relationships with graduate students who may have been impacted by the strike

  • Campus Climate and Healing — Support employees, faculty and students by restoring connections and community; understand the impact of the strike on graduate programs in the future.

  • Communication — Keep the campus community informed of these efforts, help answer questions and provide answers.

These work streams, made up of approximately 60 staff and faculty members and led by campus leaders, have already begun their work. Visit the new post-strike recovery website to learn more about the workflows, ask questions, and find updates as this work progresses.

With the strike behind us, we look forward to continuing our collective work to advance the mission of our university. Best wishes for a successful and fulfilling spring semester.

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