Union organizer Jeb Purucker.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Higher Ed

UCSC, lecturers reach settlement over unpaid work between 2018 and 2021

UC Santa Cruz lecturers filed a grievance in 2018 alleging that the university owed them pay for hours they spent attending faculty meetings and special events, among other tasks. As part of the settlement of the issue, UCSC will pay lecturers sums of between $650 and $1,000 for each course taught between 2018 and 2021 and increase pay going forward.

UC Santa Cruz lecturers are celebrating after they reached a settlement with university officials this week which will lead to back payments and increased pay for lecturers teaching a uniquely structured introductory course.

College 1 is often taught by 10 to 12 lecturers and requires an exceptional amount of coordination and time to plan, according to Jeb Purucker, the University Council-American Federation of Teachers Santa Cruz staff organizer. The union represents about 350 lecturers at UCSC, and a total of 6,000 across the UC system.

“It’s a constant, interactive thing,” he said, adding that the course is the largest source of employment for lecturers. “It’s more contact time with the students than a typical class. And the university wasn’t acknowledging that additional time.”

The Santa Cruz Community Credit Union (SCCCU) Board of Directors approved a matching gift program to support 12...

UCSC lecturers filed two grievances with the university seeking payment for the extra time spent. After years of negotiations, an agreement was reached this week resolving both.

The university will increase the Instructional Workload Credit associated with teaching College 1 beginning in fall 2022, which will increase the overall pay associated with the course. In addition, it will pay between $650 and $1,000 to the 125 to 150 lecturers who taught the course in the fall semesters between 2018 and 2021, according to UCSC spokesperson Scott Hernandez-Jason.

“We appreciate the important role lecturers have in teaching College 1 and other campus courses and are pleased to have resolved our differences,” he told Lookout via email.

In signing the agreement, UC officials maintain there was no wrongdoing on their part.

Dion Farquhar, a UCSC Crown College lecturer who was involved in the grievance process, told Lookout the settlement won lecturers some basic protections going forward.

“There’s a great satisfaction on the one hand,” she said. “And yet we also, I certainly see it as the basis on which to go forward for even more recognition and redistribution/remuneration. But we feel we’ve been respectfully listened to.”

Payments to lecturers who taught the course between 2018 and 2021

  • 2018-2019 Core: $1,000 for each lecturer per college they taught at (whether one or more sections)
  • 2019-2020 Core: $650 per-lecturer-per-college
  • 2020-2021 Core: $650 per-lecturer-per-college
  • 2021-2022 Core: $750 per-lecturer-per-college

Source: UC-AFT

Purucker said while this is a victory for lecturers, it isn’t a precedent-setting victory. At the moment, their representatives are negotiating with UC officials for a new contract.

Farquhar said she’s taught the course in three different colleges so she’ll be receiving the maximum amount of the payment, which she thinks will reach around $6,000. Most of her colleagues work for only one college.