UPTE Los Alamos Reporter

Welcome to the UPTE Los Alamos Reporter #3, published by University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE) Local 1663.

Join your union – we are stronger together!

University Professional and Technical Employees is a union representing mainly University of California employees. UPTE Local 1663 at Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) collaborates with our brothers and sisters at the UC campuses and the Livermore National Lab. 

“When LANL was privatized, we knew the same fate was in store for Livermore,” says Rich Montoya, UPTE’s local president. “The union responded. We traveled to Livermore and let them know what to expect and what they could do about it.”

“Just before LLNS, a clone to LANS was awarded the management contract at Livermore, a collective bargaining unit was formed at Livermore,” said Montoya. “A small one, for their skilled crafts, who unlike ours were not union crafts to begin with, but it got lab employees a seat at the table and collective bargaining rights.” Montoya notes that this bargaining unit has a positive effect on how LLNS relates to all employees, “because they know that there are activists on campus that will organize more employees into bargaining units.”

If you care about LANL, about your job, your future, you career, “you have to get involved,” urges Montoya. “UPTE’s leadership is made up of employee members. We may not have the right to dictate policy, but if we have the support of the community, us, we have power,” said Montoya. “The more of us singing the same song together the more likely we will be heard.  If the tune is compelling enough, even our adversaries will get that tune stuck in their heads, and eventually they will be humming along with us.” 

Join UPTE today by filling out the membership application form here.

UC administrative professionals organize for fair pay

Thousands of University of California administrative professionals systemwide have signed petitions asking each campus chancellor to grant fair cost-of-living raises.  They are urging their campus chancellors and UC President Mark Yudof to do the right thing and follow the lead of Berkeley’s chancellor, who announced recently that Berkeley campus employees who are not covered by union contracts would receive 2% pay increases effective March 1. Years of non-existent and inadequate pay raises have left university staff without union contracts woefully under market value.

Meanwhile, UC’s administrative professionals continue their campaign for union representation, many of them joining UPTE. Rana Burroughs, a research administrator at UC Berkeley, stepped up to help organize her coworkers because everyone was complaining about the lack of salary increases for most of the last 5 years, and she wanted to do something.

Burroughs was impressed that UPTE consults with members, through surveys, conferences and other means, to find out what the issues are before heading to the negotiating table. If UPTE is eventually elected as the collective bargaining representative for APs, the union “wants to be a mediator,” says Burroughs, “not overreach its boundaries.”

“UPTE’s approach is more professional than other unions that I’ve encountered,” said Burroughs. The union is “very clear on what you can do and what you can’t do. When you mention the word ‘union,’ people have an emotional reaction, and you’re able to cut through that and bring professionalism and objectivity to it.”

While APs have not yet had a state-sponsored election to chose UPTE as their formal representative, they can voluntarily join UPTE and get help with problems on the job, regular newsletters and updates about what’s happening at UC, and eligibility for a wide range of “union privilege” benefits, such as low-cost credit cards and mortgage loans.

Make a difference at LANL:

Let UPTE know what issues are most important to you by coming to a meeting or
e-mailing us or phoning us at (505) 490-6054.

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.

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The UPTE Los Alamos Reporter is published bi-monthly. Feel free forward this message to anyone who may be interested. If you want to get more involved, we welcome fresh ideas and energy. Contact us by e-mail or call us at (505) 490-6054. You can visit our webpage at www.upte.org/LosAlamos.