UPTE Bargaining Update #3

The UPTE bargaining team met with UC July 13-14 at UC Santa Cruz.  UC continues to propose removing protections and benefits from our union contracts with their latest response to 3 of our proposals. They have had no response to the other 25 proposals which UPTE passed May 28th. Progress was made when UC and UPTE came to a preliminary agreement to accept current contract language for the following 14 articles in the RX/TX contract: 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 30, 35, 37, 42, 44, 46 and 47.

 

A large group of UPTE Members from the local UCSC campus presented strong and compelling arguments for UC to acknowledge the local under market wages while emphasizing the high cost of living in the area, rising healthcare costs and shrinking benefit packages - including UC's latest attack on the pension.

 

We will continue to expose UC's blatant lies about its 'Pension Choice' program. Not only does it undermine the longevity and stability of the pension for current and future participants, but it also is projected to be a $500 million hand-out to the short-term, high-paid executives that it was designed to appeal to. This is unfair and unacceptable.

 

UPTE continues to solidify the argument for a living wage, improved and safe work conditions as well as adequate healthcare. UPTE submitted a Request For Information (RFI) to UC which included age of all fire alert systems, cost of living data, salary market comparisons, construction expenses for the past 5 years, and budget plans for the next five years, as well as healthcare costs.

 

Our next RX/TX bargaining session will be in San Diego on July 24-25.

 

All UPTE members are encouraged to participate in this process. Please contact your local leaders to find out about mobilizing on your campus and union coalition meetings in the near future.

 

Our first HX sesion will be in San Francisco on August 14-15, followed by RX/TX on August 16-17.

 

New employees get to hear from unions too

 

Most new employees at UC go through an "orientation" sponsored by Labor Relations, covering the basics of benefits, work rules, and nuts of bolts of the university.

 

But one thing orientations don't do is introduce new hires to the organizations that give them a voice and advocate for their interests: unions. Historically, campus unions have been excluded from UC new employee orientations. New employees never got a full picture of who represented them, or how, or how they could get involved. Too many times, in fact, new employees never even learned that they had union representation.

 

A new state law that took effect on July 1 changes that. AB 119 requires public sector employers to give unions access to new employee orientations – whether in person, online, or by some other means -- so that new employees can hear directly from unions about what they do, why they are important, and why every employee should join.

 

AB 119 recognizes that the ability of unions to communicate with the members they serve is necessary to their ability to represent them. It also requires the employer to give the union contact information for new employees so that unions can actually reach them. Whether or not a new employee decides to join is up to them, but every new employee is entitled to full information to make that decision.

 

Fair access to new employee orientations is long overdue at the university, and UPTE will be taking full advantage of this new law once implementation details have been worked out with UC.

 

 


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