Date: Thu Aug 29, 2002 08:39:53 US/Pacific
Subject: Chronicle article: Lecturers Join Strike at Berkeley, Leading to Some Empty Classrooms

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Thursday, August 29, 2002

Lecturers Join Strike at Berkeley, Leading to Some Empty


Scores of lecturers at the University of California at
Berkeley joined picket lines on Wednesday during the third day
of a three-day strike by clerical workers. The university has
not yet been able to calculate the impact of the lecturers'
one-day walkout, but the number of classes canceled may have
reached into the hundreds.

Fred Glass, a spokesman for the California Federation of
Teachers, which represents about 1,800 lecturers in the
University of California system, said he couldn't tell exactly
how many lecturers, who teach 22 percent of the courses at
Berkeley, had joined the strike. But he estimated that more
than half the 300 to 310 classes scheduled to be taught by
lecturers on Wednesday had been canceled. "A lot of the
classrooms are empty," said Mr. Glass. "There has clearly been
a dent."

The lecturers, who have been in contract negotiations for more
than two years, are seeking more job security. Under their
current deal, after six years of positive reviews, lecturers
are eligible for three-year contracts. But, according to Mr.
Glass, the university often doesn't rehire those experienced
lecturers after their sixth year, to avoid awarding the longer
contracts. Administrators have denied that claim.

Marie Felde, a spokeswoman for Berkeley, said that earlier in
the week the clerical workers' strike had put pressure on the
administrative functions of the campus, with delays in the
financial-aid office and shutdowns of several campus
child-care facilities. On Wednesday, though, she said, "the
impact is on the academics." Ms. Felde could not pin down the
number of lecturers on strike, but said department chairs
would ensure that canceled classes were made up. "There's been
some disruption, certainly," she said, "but over all, the
campus has been operating."

Representatives of the university and the lecturers' union are
scheduled to meet again September 5 and 6 with officials from
Gov. Gray Davis's office.

"We're hoping that this has an impact on UC's ability to
bargain in good faith," said Mr. Glass.


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Copyright 2002 by The Chronicle of Higher Education