Know Your Rights : overview

5 Feb

UAW 2865: Academic Student Employees

Here are some of the major rights and protections guaranteed by our contract. If any of these rights are being violated, the union is here to help! Contact a steward or email awduucla {at} gmail.com. Grievance resolution often happens informally; contacting the union about your problem does not commit you to any formal grievance procedure. Our contract is only meaningful if these rights and protections are enforced, so contacting the union about a violation helps not just you, but all of us.

Appointment Notification and Appointment Security

When you are hired you should be issued an appointment notification letter, which states the dates you are being hired for, how many hours, and what your pay and benefits are. If you accept an appointment, that job is then guaranteed. If your section is canceled after you’re hired, the university either has to reassign you to another section, or pay you anyway. You are also entitled to supplemental documentation that details what course you will be assigned to, and what your specific duties will be. This should be in the form of a check-list, filled out by your supervisor.

  • Full remission of in-state education and registration fees and health care premiums

Whenever graduate students work at least 10 hours a week as a GSI, reader or tutor (a 25% appointment or higher) the university pays 100% of our in state education and registration fees (called Educational and University wide Student Service Fees) in addition to our healthcare premiums. This also applies to undergraduates working as TAs.

Health Insurance

ASEs are eligible to participate in the UC Student Health Insurance Program (UCSHIP). An ASE who is a registered grad student with a 25% employment or more is eligible for premium remission.

Medical, Family and other kinds of Leave

In addition to 3 paid sick days per semester, salaried ASEs appointed at 50% time are entitled to 3 days of paid short-term family-related leave per semester which can be used for illness, disability or family emergency. Salaried ASEs are also eligible for paid long-term leave up to four weeks. Up to four weeks of paid leave can be used for childbearing or up to two weeks for serious illness of an ASE or an ASE’s family member or to care for and bond with an ASE’s newborn or newly adopted child. Unused short-term leaves may be added onto long-term leaves where necessary to increase the amount of time that an ASE may be on leave.

Protections against sexual harassment and discrimination

Our contract protects against discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, medical condition, HIV status, status as a veteran, age, citizenship, political affiliation, union activity and membership or non-membership in the union.

  • Workload

You are entitled to pay for all duties related to your appointment, including reading the course material, attending lecture, preparing for discussion, answering student e-mails, etc. It also means you can’t be required to work more than the hours you are being paid for. For a teaching assistant (GSI) working at 50%, this means that you cannot be asked to work more than 370 hours during the semester. This should average 20 hours a week, and you cannot be asked to work more than 40 hours in any week, or more than 8 hours in one day. If your duties ever exceed these amounts, your supervisor should reassign work to make the load manageable, or if that is impossible your appointment percentage can be increased to reflect your actual working time.

To read about these items in more detail and find out about other rights and protections, you can read the full contract at: http://www.uaw2865.org/rights/contract.php

Stewards and Head Stewards

Stewards are members who volunteer to act as union representatives. Stewards help with membership outreach and education, contract enforcement (finding out about contract violations and filing grievances), and other organizing projects. If your department or school is not represented by a steward, you can nominate someone to become one! It’s okay if you’re new to the union, we will have a training session for you.

UCLA Contacts:

*Kyle Arnone, Head Steward, Sociology – kjarnone {at} gmail.com

*Alexei Nowak, Head Steward, Comparative Literature –  a.nowak.mail {at} gmail.com

*Jeremy Schmidt, Head Steward, English – jeremy.schmidt {at} gmail.com

* Hadley Suter, Head Steward, French and Francophone Studies – hadlita {at} gmail.com

*Elise Youn, UAW 2865 Member, Urban Planning – eliseyoun {at} gmail.com

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