UPTE Los Alamos Reporter

October 2014
Published by University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE) Local 1663

We invite you to join UPTE-CWA!

UPTEhas been very successful protecting workers’ right at LANL, but in order to continue these successes, we need to grow our union. If you are not yet a member, please join UPTE. Working together we can improve our employment at LANL.

Who is UPTE-CWA? Our union with 15,000 members at the University of California, California Community Colleges and the Livermore and Los Alamos National Lab. We have negotiated landmark collective bargaining agreements with generous wages and fighting off benefit cuts for our members with collective bargaining agreements. We are a local of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) a highly diversified union of over 600,000 members.

Here are some of the ways UPTE-CWA benefits you:
  • Puts pressure on legislators in Washington DC, Santa Fe and Sacramento with our national union, the Communications Workers of America (CWA).
  • Conducts media campaigns criticizing unaccountable management decisions.
  • Pressures the University of California through our statewide organization.
  • Trains stewards to help your co-workers with workplace problems.
  • Pressure the lab on issues important to us all such as unfair evaluations, health and safety concerns, cuts to our benefits and much more.

What has UPTE accomplished at LANL?

  • Won the right for employees working at the lab at the time of privatization to keep a pension plan, now known as TCP 1 through legislative action.
  • Represented many employees facing unfair treatment in the workplace.
  • Media campaigns to counter polygraph tests and corruption .

Current members are the best organizers for the union. Employees listen and value their colleagues. Please ask your co-workers to join UPTE today.

Working groups have formed to help in organizing and legislative efforts, as well as stewards training. If you wish to volunteer with these working groups, the commitment is only two to three hours a month. Tasks include reaching out to potential members by phone, or strategizing about organizing possibilities. The more people that are involved with the union, the more effectively UPTE can represent us.

Please contact Richard Espinosa to get involved and help your union grow: 505-603-9034 or respinosa@upte-cwa.org

Performance-Based Evaluations: don’t misuse them!

Complaints about LLNL’s evaluation process and its relationship to wages have been increasing. There have also concerned about gender equality in the evaluation process, with women receiving lower evaluations and lower wage increases overall than their male co-workers.
Some believe that the evaluation process has become corrupted under LANS management because of profit sharing, which rewards themselves and their own bank accounts. There have been complaints that managers have been instructed to evaluate on a quota system in order to deny as many people wage increases as possible. This year, management was instructed to have employees write up work goals that would be measureable at midterm and at the end of the performance period. 
Evaluations should be used as a tool for both employees and managers to see where improvements need to be made. It is wrong for management to use an evaluation as a form of discipline or denial -- and in some cases discrimination or termination.

All employees have the right to dispute their evaluations, and the best way to do that is with an UPTE steward. Having a steward there usually puts management on its best behavior. If you need help, please call 505-603-9034 to be connected with a union steward.

What is the “unfunded code”?

At LANL, there are growing concerns about what people are calling the “unfunded group” and the “unfunded code.” Employees are being put on this unfunded code and are being told to look for work with other LANL groups. There is no policy in place regarding this unfunded code and it is uncertain on how long management gives a person to find another position -- it seems to be up to the Group Leader. In some cases, management is helping these employees find positions, but in a lot of cases employees are getting laid off with little to no notice.

UPTE is looking into this, and if this has happened to you, we want to hear your story. Please send an email to lanl@upte-cwa.org or call (505) 603-9034.

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UPTE LANL, 127 Eastgate Drive, Suite 212, Los Alamos, NM 87544

UPTE Local 1663 |  lanl@upte-cwa.org  |  (505) 603-9034
upte.org/LosAlamos
  |  respinosa@upte-cwa.org