UPTE Los Alamos Reporter

Welcome to the first edition of the UPTE Los Alamos Reporter, published by University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE) Local 1663. We would like to re-introduce ourselves and invite your participation. 

What is UPTE?
Los Alamos professional employees began joining UPTE in 1996, and we became a chapter of University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE-CWA). UPTE represents over 15,000 employees at the University of California, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), including researchers, technical employees, health care professionals and skilled tradespeople. UPTE bargains collectively for those groups over issues such as salary, benefits and working conditions. UC’s 16,000 administrative professionals are currently organizing for UPTE-representation systemwide. UPTE is affiliated with the 700,000 member Communications Workers of America, part of the AFL-CIO.

UPTE Local 1663 is the union’s Los Alamos chapter. Members encompass a broad spectrum of the Laboratory’s population from editors, accountants, attorneys, scientists, engineers, technicians, computing staff, administrative staff, line managers and many other professions from both line and support organizations.

What has UPTE Local 1663 done?

  • Assisted LLNL in organizing its first bargaining unit of staff at Livermore. 
  • Presented lessons learned to LLNL employees in preparation for the bid and eventual replacement of their UC prime contract.
  • Actively collaborated with LLNL and lobbied in Washington to achieve the National Academy of Sciences study on effects for privatization on the Nuclear Weapons Labs.
  • Listened to and addressed many complaints of harassment from both members and non-members.
  • Served as peer observers in disciplinary hearings.
  • Speakers we’ve hosted include Glen Walp, who wrote "Implosion at Los Alamos" in 2010. We’ll announce upcoming talks on this list.

What plans does UPTE Local 1663 have for the future?
While this work is important, there is much more we could do if we won the legal right to collective bargaining for LANL employees. That would put us at the negotiating table with LANS to discuss, salaries, promotions, layoff process, working conditions, health and safety issues and other policies that affect us as employees. In order to reach that goal, a majority of the employees at LANL will need to sign cards calling for a union election. The Public Employment Relations Board would conduct a secret ballot vote. If fifty percent plus one of those returning ballots vote "yes," we will have the right to elect a bargaining committee and negotiate a contract with UC.

How can I help affect positive change in the LANL working environment and enjoy the benefits of working in a more collegial environment?

  • Let us know what issues are most important to you, by coming to a meeting or e-mailing us. (Meetings occur on 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 5:15 PM at the UPTE office, located on the second floor of the Miles Building, office 209 (across the street from the Post Office).
  • Watch for actions you can take through Local 1663 to stand up for yourself and help other employees receive fair treatment.
  • Encourage others to join the local, to help build our membership.  
  • Help us reach out to the LANL community of Northern New Mexico in a positive way, e.g. serving in booths at local events. 
  • Volunteer your time and skills. For instance, help the local put together a newsletter, organize local talks and events, or take on an administrative task to help the local. The possibilities are endless – contact us with your ideas.

Why am I on this mailing list?
We are sending this message out to the widest lab listing we can. We know it is incomplete, because the email addresses of our fellow employees have not been public information since privatization. We have pending a Freedom of Information Act (FIOA) to obtain employees’ contact information. Please feel free forward this message to anyone who may be interested (and if you would to be removed from this mailing list, click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom).

To those of you who want to get involved with us and become a regular member, an activist, or a steward, thank you!  We welcome fresh ideas and energy, and look forward to working with you. To those of you who would like to stay on this list and learn more, please contact us by e-mail or call us at (505) 490-6054. You can visit our webpage at www.UPTE.org/LosAlamos.