AWDU, Academic Workers for a Democratic Union, is a statewide movement of student-workers in the UC system who have come together to ensure that UAW 2865 is a transparent, participatory democratic, bottom-up union with high levels of active member participation. It is dedicated to using the union as a means of fighting for student-worker rights amidst the UC-wide and UCLA budget cuts. AWDU-UCLA is the campus unit of this ongoing reform movement. For more information, see both the Mission Statement on this blog and the rest of this FAQ below.


Our union—UAW Local 2865—represents all the student-workers in the UC system. It is part of the International United Autoworkers Union. And it is, in theory, run entirely by UC student-workers with input and guidance from the International. Our Local (2865) is overseen directly by the Executive Board, a group of 10 elected student-worker representatives who represent the Local as a whole. In addition, the Local is divided into nine units, one for each campus. And each campus unit of 2865 has a number of elected leaders. Those leaders, plus the E-Board members, constitute the Joint Council. Basically, the Joint Council is 2865’s legislature, with the E-Board constituting the upper house. The duties of the Joint Council include overseeing contract negotiations, handling student-worker grievances, and organizing union actions. For official information on our Local, elections, vacancies, what representatives actually do, and the names of current representatives, see the UAW 2865 website: http://www.uaw2865.org/.

Here’s how the governing bodies look. Keep in mind that over at least the past six years (from 2004-2011), the Head Steward positions at the various campuses have never been entirely filled. The debate and activity that AWDU has brought to UAW 2865 have already increased the level of democratic participation in our union as a number of campus (including UCLA) now have filled all their Head Steward positions for the first time in many years.

A. Executive Board (10 members)

  • President
  • Northern Vice President
  • Southern Vice President
  • Financial Secretary
  • Recording Secretary
  • Trustee 1
  • Trustee 2
  • Trustee 3
  • Sergeant at Arms
  • Guide

B. Joint Council (66 Reps + 10 E-Board Members = 76 Total)
Each campus unit has a Campus Chair and a Campus Recording Secretary. It is also eligible to have one Head Steward for every 200 campus union members. For example, UCLA (with approximately 1,800 union members) is currently eligible for nine Head Steward positions, all of which are filled for the period February-May, 2011. On February 1, 2011, the numbers were as follows. Note that because members can serve on both the E-Board and their campus units (as three current E-Board members do), the total number of people on the Joint Council is actually 73 rather than 76.

  • UCBerkeley – 13 Head Stewards, 15 positions total
  • UCDavis – 4 Head Stewards, 6 positions total (Campus Chair is vacant as of 2/20/2011)
  • UCIrvine – 6 Head Stewards, 8 positions total
  • UCLA – 9 Head Stewards, 11 positions total
  • UCMerced – 0 Head Stewards, 2 positions total
  • UCRiverside – 4 Head Stewards, 6 positions total
  • UCSD – 7 Head Stewards, 9 positions total
  • UCSB – 4 Head Stewards, 6 positions total
  • UCSC – 1 Head Stewards, 3 positions total

C. Stewards
In addition to the Joint Council, all UAW 2865 members in good standing are eligible to be Stewards at their campus. Each campus is eligible to have one regular (rather than Head) Steward for every 50 members. Stewards can nominate themselves and are generally “elected” in non-contested elections every time an election is called. Contact us at awduucla@gmail.com if you’re interested in being a Steward at UCLA or any other UC campus.


On our Resources page, you can find a variety of reading materials explaining particular problems with UAW 2865 as it’s currently structured and run. These materials, which range from historical accounts to anecdotes of particular interactions over the past few months, are telling evidence of the UAW 2865’s current lack of transparency and efficiency. AWDU-UCLA’s mission is to combat the problems discussed in these materials.

More questions? email us at awduucla@gmail.com


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