The UC Office of the President has informed UC-AFT that Unit 18 lecturers will not be participating in the furlough plan. Contrary to some reports, our union has not refused to accept pay reductions; rather, the university decided not to use furloughs as the main way of gaining salary savings from our unit. While we were willing to have conversations about the furlough plan with UCOP, the university did not want to answer any of our most basic questions (how would the furloughs affect our workers? how much money were they trying to save by furloughing our people?). Most importantly, the university would not give us any information on past, present, and future layoffs, and so we were unable to even start a conversation with UCOP.
Making matters worse, the UC has embarked on an anti-union campaign, which includes blaming the unions for not accepting the shared sacrifices of the furloughs. In this attempt to pit non-unionized against unionized workers, the university may have overplayed its hand because we are now witnessing an unprecedented collaboration between represented and nonrepresented workers in the UC system. For instance, over 10,000 UC employees, including non-unionized staff, students, and senate faculty recently voted that they had no confidence in President Yudof's leadership. Also events are being planned for the coming months that will help to unite unions with nonrepresented professors and other staff and workers. While the university engages in a divide and conquer strategy, the students, faculty, staff, and workers are uniting.