UC Santa Barbara's ELR team is dedicated to fostering a successful and positive work environment.   
We are responsible for the administration and interpretation of UC Santa Barbara’s 15 union contracts (collective bargaining agreements).  We work collaboratively with the union representatives and stewards to uphold UC Santa Barbara's union contracts.  


Labor Relations Functions

  • Grievance and Complaint Administration
  • Arbitrations, Unfair Labor Practices (ULP) Hearings; and Miscellaneous Agency Complaints
  • Contract Interpretation
  • Settlement Agreements
  • Union Relations:  Notices, Labor Management Meetings; Information Requests (IR); Collective Bargaining; Organizing & Demonstrations

If you are uncertain whether a position you supervise is represented review the appointment information in UC Path or ask your personnel coordinator or Business Officer for assistance. The information is also available by searching the Job Code Lookup System to determine whether a job title classification falls into a specific unit by code, e.g., CX, SX, TX). If a position is not represented by a union, the job title/position is non-exclusively represented (often referred to by the code) and is covered by Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM)

Access Regulations for Unions

The State law that governs collective bargaining rights for University employees (Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act) guarantees employees and employee organizations certain rights to conduct representational business, subject to the reasonable regulations of the University. Such activities include meetings, distribution of literature, and other related communications. These rights are generally called "access" rights, which, in a practical sense, means the law protects the union’s access to employees it represents. Unions are also provided certain limited access rights to non-represented employees. The campus’ access regulations are available here (printable PDF version). Specific regulations regarding AFSCME's access to employees working in dining facilities is available here.

All unions are responsible for knowing and following our campus access regulations. ELR is responsible for providing the access regulations to the unions. Union representatives are knowledgeable and generally cooperative regarding campus access regulations, but questions and issues may arise. Please contact Employee + Labor Relations using HR ServiceNow for assistance.

Union Notice Obligations

When a department or unit is contemplating changes that will affect represented employees, the University’s obligation to provide a notice to the applicable union(s) may be triggered. Management may want to begin informing employees about plans as early as possible. However, when a proposal has reached the stage of being finalized but not yet implemented, it is time to contact ELR using HR ServiceNow. ELR will review the proposed changes and determine whether or not notice to the union(s) is required. The lead time for notice depends on the action you are considering. One issue would be a major reorganization that could necessitate possible layoffs, create new layoff units, or change layoff units. (Most reorganizations don't include all of these actions.) In most circumstances, notice obligations are 30 to 60 days in advance of the implementation of the proposed change or action.

When Is Notice Required?
Notice is required in a variety of circumstances, but most typically in situations involving:

  • Layoff
  • Changes in Work Rules
  • Changes in Hours of Work, Schedules or Shifts

When Is Notice Generally Not Necessary?
Some actions do not call for notice; two examples are a change of assignment of duties or supervisors within the same classification and department. Employees don't have a right to always perform the same set of duties within their classification, nor do they have a right to the same supervisor forever.

If an employee asks you for information or for your opinion or advice on union dues, please direct the employee to their union (see below).  Do not attempt to answer questions or provide information.


Unions at UCSB





Clerical Unit

International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 2010 (IBT or Teamsters)


Service Unit

American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Local 3299 (AFSCME)


Technical Unit

University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE- CWA Local 9119)


Research Support Professionals Unit

University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE- CWA Local 9119)


Police Officers Unit

Federation of University Police Officers Associations (FUPOA)

DX Physicians & Dentists Unit

Union of American Physicians & Dentists (UAPD- AFSCME Local 206)


Nurses Unit

California Nurses Association (CNA - National Nurses United)


Patient Care Technical Unit

American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Local 3299 (AFSCME)


Health Care Professionals Unit

University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE- CWA Local 9119)


Non-Senate Instructional Unit

University Council - American Federation of Teachers Local 2141 (UC-AFT)


Librarian Unit

University Council - American Federation of Teachers Local 2141 (UC-AFT)


Skilled Crafts Unit

International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 2010 (IBT or Teamsters)


Academic Student Employees

United Auto Workers Local 2865 (UAW)


Postdoctoral Scholars

United Auto Workers Local 5810 (UAW)

rA Academic Researchers  United Auto Workers Local 5810 (UAW)

 FAQs / Labor Relations

UC Santa Barbara embroidered on uniform sleeve

After a union is elected to represent a collective bargaining unit, the University and the union engage in a negotiation process to reach an agreement (or contract) on the terms and conditions of employment for represented members of the unit. Every agreement has a duration period, meaning that the agreement expires after a specific date and the parties have to negotiate a new agreement. This next negotiation process is called "successor" bargaining because the parties are negotiating for an agreement that will succeed the current one. In some cases, agreement includes a provision called "re-openers." This means that the parties have agreed that they will re-negotiate only certain portions, or Articles, even though the agreement does not expire until a future date.

You can find out more about the processes for elections, decertifications and the history of collective bargaining in the FAQ's on the UCOP Labor Relations Web site.

No employee is ever obligated to strike. Unions are legally prohibited from threatening or coercing members in other ways to keep them from coming to work. Some unions can fine dues-paying members (but not non-members) for working during a strike. A union member who does not want to strike may contact her/his union directly to inquire about possible fines. UC will not deduct fines from an employee’s paycheck.

You will not be paid if you fail to report for work as scheduled.  In additions, your benefits may be affected depending on the percentage of time worked in a particular pay period.  Please refer to the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

If an employee does not report to work as assigned during a strike, UC will presume — absent prior authorization or medical certification — that her/his work absence during a strike period is strike related. Employees who are absent from work without authorization during a strike will not be paid for the absence. As is always the case, authorization for an absence from work (e.g., vacation leave or compensatory time) may or may not be granted, depending on operational necessity and without regard to the employee's reason for the requested leave.

Some of the staff positions at the University of California, based on job title classification, are organized into collective bargaining units that are exclusively represented by a union or employee organization. California's Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) gives UC employees the right to decide whether or not they want to unionize and have collective bargaining as the sole means of determining their wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.  There are thirteen collective bargaining units (CBU) on the UC Santa Barbara campus.  More information about HEERA and the collective bargaining process is available on the Office of the President’s collective bargaining web pages and at the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) web site.  PERB is the state agency responsible for oversight of HEERA and the collective bargaining process between the University and employee organizations/unions representing our employees.

When you were hired, your hiring supervisor or the employment recruiter should have informed you if your position is part of a collective bargaining unit and represented by a union.  If you are uncertain, please ask your supervisor, department personnel coordinator or business officer.  You can also search the Salary Scales by job title classification to determine representation.  The Salary Scales indicate whether a job title classification falls into a specific unit by code. (The campus often uses these codes as an informal reference for the bargaining units, e.g, CX, SX, TX)

If a position is not represented by a union, the job title/position is non-exclusively represented (often referred to by the code "99") and is covered by  Personnel Policies for Staff Members.

Definitions / Labor Relations

California's Higher Education Employee Employer Relations Act (HEERA) is the law passed by the California State Legislature that governs labor relations between public institutions of higher education and their employees.  HEERA gives UC employees the right to decide whether or not they want to unionize and have collective bargaining as the sole means of determining their wages, hours and working conditions.

The State of California's Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) is the administrative agency charged with implementing and overseeing the provisions of HEERA. PERB makes determinations about which units are appropriate for collective bargaining; conducts elections to determine whether employees in a given unit want to be unionized and engage in collective bargaining; and investigates, holds hearings, and makes decisions on whether or not unfair labor practices have been committed. 

Collective bargaining is a bilateral decision-making process involving direct negotiations, in which the University and the exclusive representative of the employees (usually called a “union”) determine wages, hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment for all employees in the bargaining unit. 

During this process, the parties meet and exchange proposals and counter-proposals.  Pursuant to the Higher Education Employer Employee Relations Act (HEERA), the parties are required to meet and negotiate in good faith (fairly consider the proposals of the opposing side and not dismiss them outright) and prohibits the parties from engaging in regressive bargaining (making their proposals or counter-proposals worse than prior proposals).  

Collective bargaining agreement, union contract and memorandum of understanding (MOU) are all terms that refer to a written, mutually binding agreement that results from direct negotiations between the University and the exclusive representative for a group of employees.  The agreement, contract or MOU sets wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment for an agreed-upon period of time.

Under the California Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA),a collective bargaining unit is a group of job positions/job titles with a sufficient "community of interest" that a union can reasonably represent the employees in the unit - particularly the negotiation of the employees' terms and conditions of employment.

HEERA provides that, with some exceptions, collective bargaining units at the University are organized into systemwide units. This means that all employees in a specific collective bargaining unit, across all the UC campuses, are considered to be one unit. Other units (Skilled Crafts units for example) are considered a local, single campus unit.

Generally, when a collective bargaining agreement expires and no new agreement has been reached, the University is required to maintain the status quo for terms and conditions of employment affecting represented employees in that unit.  “Status quo” is a legal term for the University’s obligation to generally maintain the same wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment that existed prior to the agreement’s expiration.  Thus, once an agreement has expired, the University usually cannot make changes to terms and conditions without giving notice to the employee’s union and potentially negotiating the change.  Management actions that may require a notice/negotiation obligation include: reclassifications, transfers, involuntary changes in employee’s hours, changes in departmental procedures related to ability to accrue comp time in lieu of overtime, scheduling overtime, vacation, taking sick leave, and other work rule changes.      

 Notably, not everything related to wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment is subject to bargaining or to “status quo.”  However, departments planning to make changes affecting employees in bargaining units now in status quo should contact the appropriate Employee and Labor Relations Specialist to review plans and coordinate any required notices prior to implementing any such changes. 

If the University and the exclusive representative for a group of employees (aka union) are unable to reach an agreement through collective bargaining, negotiations may be declared at an impasse. This means that neither side is willing to compromise further on any of the outstanding issues. The State of California's Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) verifies whether or not the parties are at impasse and, if so, the State Mediation and Conciliation Services appoints an independent person to mediate between the parties.  If the mediator is unable to persuade the parties to compromise, then a fact-finding panel is created. Each party appoints one person to serve on the panel and PERB provides a list of independent arbitrators from which the parties mutually select one to chair the panel. This panel hears presentations from each side and then issues a fact-finding report.  However, the report is only advisory.

If the parties are still unable to agree after the completion of fact-finding and the report is issued, the University is permitted to impose or unilaterally implement terms and conditions of employment, as long as such terms were “reasonably contemplated’ with the University’s last, best and final offer.

If an agreement is reached in collective bargaining negotiations between the University and the exclusive representative for a group of employees (aka union), it is called a Tentative Agreement or T.A. because it is not put into effect until each side has ratified (or voted to approve) it.  The Regents of the University of California ratify for the University and union members (generally voting rights are only extended to dues paying members of the union) vote to ratify for the union.

The exclusive representative for a group of employees (aka union) and the University develop and present initial proposals to each side prior to the start of collective bargaining negotiations. The initial proposals are generally changes or new contract provisions that each side would like to achieve through negotiations.

After the University and exclusive representative for a group of employees (aka union) submits a notice of intent to bargain and exchange initial proposals, the initial proposals are made available for public viewing at a stated time and place prior to the start of negotiations.   This allows the general public an opportunity to review and comment on initial proposals. 

A work stoppage by a group of employees intended to express a grievance, enforce a demand for higher wages or for other changes in conditions of employment, obtain recognition, or resolve a dispute with management.

An Unfair Labor Practice charge or ULP is a charge filed with the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) that either the University or the exclusive bargaining agent (union) has violated the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA).