FAQs--FACULTY ASSOCIATION QUESTIONS

1. WHAT ARE THE UC FACULTY ASSOCIATIONS?

The Faculty Associations (FAs) are associations of UC Senate faculty on the campuses of the University of California. Each FA is dues supported and therefore completely independent.

A little over twenty five years ago, a group of Academic Senate faculty at Berkeley concluded that the University by itself could not halt the alarming decline in faculty compensation caused by accelerating inflation and legislative inertia. They also foresaw the day when legislation would allow for public employee unions in higher education. Therefore UC faculty formed associations of Academic Senate faculty first at Berkeley, then at UCLA, and then on all the campuses of the University of California. The FAs helped draft legislation that would help to ensure that the academic quality of the University of California would never be compromised. When that legislation passed (AB 1091) in 1979, it became clear that the authority of the Academic Senate was restricted to academic matters and the Senate could not represent the economic or employment interests of its faculty before the University or the Legislature. A group of Senate faculty--not acting as the Senate but as an independent association of faculty members--would take on that important responsibility.

The Faculty Associations pay no attention at all to the strictly academic issues that take up most of the time and attention of the Academic Senate, like curriculum and hiring and evaluating faculty, unless the Academic Senate asks for our help. We concentrate all of our attention on employer-employee issues like faculty salaries, medical, fringe, and retirement benefits, and other conditions of work like teaching load and outside employment policies. As a membership organization we thus have the best of two worlds: better representation in employment matters, no loss of autonomy in academic matters.

The local campus Faculty Associations join together loosely to form the Council of UC Faculty Associations, our systemwide organization. The chair of each campus FA serves on the Board of the Council. Campus FAs (except Santa Cruz) do not have specific labor rights, but the Council does by virtue of its agency status with the Santa Cruz FA, the legal bargaining agent for the faculty at UCSC. Because of these assigned labor rights, the Office of the President has the obligation to send notices to the Council about any proposed changes to the wages, benefits, hours, and working conditions of UC faculty. If the Council has questions or feels that those changes are not in the best interests of the faculty, the Council has the labor rights to ask for a consulting session with the UC Administration in Oakland.

In Sacramento, the Faculty Associations hire the services of a professional lobbyist so that we can monitor the state's contribution to UC and what portion of that contribution goes to UC faculty salaries. When there are cuts to be made, we protect faculty interests. We also follow bills that affect faculty concerns and follow the activities of state government organizations that set salary formulas. Because it is state-funded, the Senate may not use its resources to lobby on behalf of faculty interests. Without us, faculty would have to rely on the goodwill of the University and the legislature to address economic issues affecting faculty, and while no one doubts that goodwill, it is always better to have someone asking questions, providing information, and keeping a close lookout. That1s where the UC Faculty Associations come in: we are watchdogs, quiet most of the time, but ready to spring into action on both the campus and statewide levels.

2. WHOM DO THE FACULTY ASSOCIATIONS REPRESENT?

3. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE FACULTY ASSOCIATIONS?

On campus, investigate local issues like

In Sacramento, pursue lobbying issues like
In Oakland, consult with the Office of the President on

4. EXACTLY HOW HAVE THE FACULTY ASSOCIATIONS PROMOTED FACULTY INTERESTS IN 1996-97?

Outside Employment The Council of FAs prevented the University from implementing a longer, rigidly codified policy and instead got the existing APM policy only minimally amended. Part of the proposed changes involved redefining the workweek, and it has been an important principle of the Faculty Associations to maintain that the University has no right to regulate the evenings and weekends of faculty.

UC Faculty Salaries The Council of FAs helped prevent CPEC (California Post-Secondary Education Commission)in Sacramento from making changes in the salary formula that would eventually reduce the salaries of UC faculty.

UC Budget The campus FAs and the Council urged local Senate and Assembly Representatives to pass AB 1415, which would tie the UC budget to specific economic indicators and provide long-term funding. We felt this bill would offer a needed measure of security to UC's budget in the future in the face of a state budget where most of the other segments have budgets defined by entitlements. We engaged Ochoa & Sillas to lobby actively for passage of this bill and sent a letter to the Senate Education and Appropriations Committees, to every member of the Senate, and to the Governor asking for the passage of 1415. The FAs also requested individual faculty members to write to their legislators on behalf of the bill.

UC Medical Schools The campus FAs have become more active advocates of UC medical school faculty. We continue to raise issues, like the rights of in-residence faculty, the policies on outside employment, and medical school education funding so that medical faculty know how these policies are being addressed by the University, and the University knows that they cannot make major policy decisions without adequate representation and consultation.

Faculty Employment RightsThe Council of UC FAs wrote a letter to a campus Chancellor on behalf of a UC faculty member who had been demoted from full professor to associate professor without the University having followed standard procedures. His demotion was eventually overturned.

The Council of UC FAs continues to monitor the administration's desire to change the policies governing incompetence. Policy changes concerning incompetence are now under review by Senate faculty committees .

5. HOW ARE THE FACULTY ASSOCIATIONS ORGANIZED?

At most of the campuses, the Faculty Associations are governed by an Executive Board. Each spring, a nominating committee offers the names of FA members to serve for 2-year terms. A slate of candidates willing to serve is published for the members, who can either accept the slate or nominate other faculty. The Boards elect officers from among their members, usually to serve for two-year terms.

At the systemwide level, the chairs of the campus faculty associations serve on the Council and elect a President and Vice President. This year Professor Mary Ann Mason from UCB School of Social Welfare is the President of the Council. She will be assisted by the Vice President, Professor Emeritus Charles Nash, UC Davis, who will oversee the Council's lobbying responsibilities and work closely with the FA lobbyist Ralph Ochoa.

6. HOW MUCH ARE THE FA DUES AND HOW ARE THEY SPENT?

Faculty Association dues vary according to campus policies. Please refer to the section Join the Faculty Associations and follow the link to a specific campus to see the dues structure. Some part of campus dues money goes toward paying Council dues, the bulk of which pays for a professional lobbyist in Sacramento and a legislative monitoring service that alerts us to bills that affect UC faculty interests. Some of the Council dues goes toward paying for two staff positions--Executive Director and Lobbying Coordinator. In addition to paying Council dues, some campus FAs use a good part of their dues income to pay for the services of a campus FA Executive Director and to cover the expenses of newsletters, transportation to Oakland and Sacramento, and other meeting and office expenses.