Dear UPTE Members:
I write to give you one more piece of good news before you head off for the holiday. UC’s President Drake issued an update which affects you, your coworkers and your family. UC recently concluded a survey to gauge reactions to a systemwide program to preserve jobs and avoid COVID-related layoffs to every extent possible, and to help address the more than $2 billion budget deficit UC faces due to the Pandemic.
For months UPTE leaders, along with our sister unions at UC, have been organizing meetings with regents to demand that the University to rely on reserves of over $31 billion dollars to weather the pandemic, and make clear that our members do not deserve a pay cut through curtailment or furloughs as we work to serve the University, its students and its patients in our medical care facilities.
As we say in the Labor Movement, “When We Fight, We Win” and our efforts have paid off! On November 23, President Drake announced that the University would require each campus to establish a pandemic relief fund, to be used to minimize Pandemic-related layoffs. One of the key goals of this approach will be to preserve lower-paid jobs that otherwise may have lacked sufficient funding. Each campus will have the obligation to keep impacts to staff at a minimum. Curtailment is no longer required, and at least three campuses have already stated that, through hiring freezes, salary freezes for unrepresented, redeployment and value improvement measures, they will not pursue curtailment or furloughs. Hopefully other campuses will also find their way to do the right thing.
President Drake also committed to meeting the UC’s obligations under our collective bargaining agreements concerning actions involving union-represented colleagues. In other words, the University is committed to providing the wage increases that have been negotiated with our unions.
If you have further questions about these developments , please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope that this information has been helpful to you. I also hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and keep hope as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday. We will get through this together.
Yours in Solidarity,