UPTE Bargaining Update #1

UPTE bargaining representatives from all UC campuses and LBNL attended our first Rx and Tx bargaining session held May 8-10th on the UC Davis campus.  We opened 29 articles for contract language improvements in RX and TX including compensation, hours worked, sick leave, parking, subcontracting, benefits as well as health and safety.  HX bargaining proposals will be similar as our aim is to align the language between all three contracts. 

In addition to presenting our proposals, UPTE organized members and local activists to highlight how the issues and topics that were presented in certain articles are affecting them and the University. UC Davis employees from the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts spoke on working 16-18 hour shifts without overtime and highlighted the abuse of limited appointment members without benefits who outnumber career employees systemwide 3 to 1. Members spoke about outdated machinery and unsafe hazardous working conditions such as non-functioning eye wash sinks, managers ignoring known asbestos contamination and the outsourcing of construction jobs while limiting work and hindering safety re-certifications of staff.

Guests included powerful and moving presentations from our Sacramento Labor Council representing 170,000 local members emphasizing need for fair bargaining and transparency citing a recent UC audit which discovered UC was hiding $175 million dollars. UAW and AFT along with student representatives joined on the last day with a show of solidarity and support for UPTE's efforts to raise our wage steps to a living wage and create sanctuary campuses in order to continue the great work of our members from all around the world - work which continues to benefit society, as well as the University and its standing globally.  We ask UC to partner with us to combat the current political environment that attacks the foundations of academia and freedom of expression. 

Contrary to the email that was sent out on Thursday the 11th, the University's new proposals and history show that it is not interested in protecting your compensation and benefits. The University has proposed a string of takeaways from the current contract language. All UPTE-represented staff in Rx and Tx received 3% annual wage increases during the life of this contract because they built pressure on UC to do the right thing. At the same time, UC implemented performance-based wage increases for unrepresented staff. Different campuses and even departments were eventually allowed to determine how raises were distributed and, in many cases, even those with the 'highest' performance received less than 3%, with most employees receiving far less.

We have not yet exchanged compensation proposals, but UC has already asked to be allowed free reign to raise health insurance rates and is attempting to undermine our pension. Allowing newly hired employees to be lured out of the pension does undermine the longevity of the pension, which is why UPTE strongly oppose UC's expensive pension 'choice,' which they developed with high-paid, short-term executives in mind.

If you haven't already please contact the bargaining team member from your campus if you have evidence that your job title's pay scales are under market value or if you are aware of systematic inequity in compensation between people in the same job title with the same experience.

The next bargaining session will be at UCLA June 21-22. We will be bargaining at each campus and look forward to seeing at yours, hearing your story. and advocating together for a better UC. 

If you have not signed a membership form, go on line and join today to support your bargaining team for good raises and continued excellent benefits!


UPTE-CWA 9119 | P.O. Box 4443, Berkeley, CA 94704
510.704.8783 (p) | 510.704.8065 (f) |  upte.org