Fighting Hard for System Admins and IT at UC!

Why is UC continuing to fight so hard to prevent Sys Admins from having a voice?

…And what we can do about it…

Since 2017, UC has ignored the Public Employment Relation Board. PERB issued an administrative determination that UC was wrong to classify Sys Admins as not union represented and that they should have been part of the UPTE TX unit from the time the classification was created (see below for a timeline of the legal process). Now, UC is taking the issue to the court of appeals. They continue to deny Sys Admins their right to bargain and their right to the wage increases won by our current labor contract. How long will this go on?

UPTE worked throughout the negotiations for the TX contract under the expectation that we could get UC to settle our unfair labor practice charge and negotiate the terms of the Sys Admins addition to UPTE. Many Sys Admins took part in the UPTE strikes and other actions for a contract, yet UC still refused to recognize them. Despite their lofty excuses, UC is not ignoring the legal mandate of PERB for any reasons other than they want to prevent Sys Admins from having a voice in the terms of their employment and to save money by continuing to keep wages and benefits lower than they should be.

UC understands that the IT workers play a critical role in their day to day operations. They can foresee the shift in the balance of power when all of Healthcare, Technical and Research professionals including IT make a demand for positive changes in their workplace. Sys Admins and Info Sys Analysts will be a driving force in making positive changes to their wages, benefits and securing their retirement.

This fall UPTE is beginning a new phase in the fight to bring representation to Sys Admins and Info Sys Analysts. The Communications Workers of America (CWA), the national union UPTE is affiliated with (700,000 strong), has funded a full time organizer position to work on developing capacity with IT workers in UPTE. We will be offering training for Sys Admins, Info Sys Analyst, and BTSAs (who recently went through the same PERB process and won), CRSs, TSAs and others. The training (dates TBD) will include the basics of how a union works, benefits of a labor contract, how to build support with your coworkers and strategies to have a stronger voice to win on a variety of issues at work. At the same time there will be an IT Organizing Committee developed to implement campaigns, make critical decisions and be the voice of IT workers at UC.

We are welcoming Info Sys Analyst to participate in the union training to help build out a strong I.T. labor force to combat future outsourcing and secure a better on-call rate pay structure. We are stronger when we work together!

What you can do about it:

  • Sign up for the training and receive more information on dates and content by responding to this email or at rgodinez@cwa-union.org
  • Become a member of UPTE. We are able to negotiate much more effectively with UC when more people are members. Sys Admins and Info Sys Analyst won’t pay dues until they are part of an UPTE contract with at least a 2% raise.

For two years, UC demanded cuts and concessions but UPTE members won phenomenal wages and benefits, with no concessions. The new agreement, which runs through 2024, once again protects the world-class pension plan that has served UC workers for decades and provides total raises of 29% to 32%.

Sys Admins should have been part of the technical bargaining unit two years ago and received the following benefits in the new UPTE contract:

  • 29% raises over 6 years of the contract –  6% raises in 2019, 6% in 2020, 3.5% in 2021, 5% in 2022*, 3.5% in 2023 and 5% in 2024*.
  • No weakening of the pension through risky opt out schemes. Everyone in the unit has the best pension formula at UC and not the version UC was pushing which would have made people work 5 years longer to get the same pension.
  • Daily overtime pay for non-exempt staff (SA 1 and 2)
  • Protections on parking and healthcare rates
  • Layoff protections including preferential rehire and 60 day notice
  • Also, reclassification rights, shift differentials, sub-contracting protections, a say in work rule changes, etc.

Most observers expect UPTE to win the legal battle with UC and that Sys Admins will eventually become part of UPTE, but how many of the raises and benefits described above will UC force them to miss out on before they settle? By getting more organized now Sys Admins will have a much better chance of that being sooner than later.

*The 2022 and 2024 raises include a ~2% step increase. To be eligible for a step you must be 1) career, 2) off probation, 3) not at the top step, 4) have a recent performance evaluation rating of satisfactory/meets expectations (or no evaluation). Everyone receives all the other raises.

Timeline of the Legal Process:

  • December 22, 2016 UPTE files a unit modification (accretion) petition with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB)
  • March 30th 2017 PERB issues an “Order to Show Cause” ruling in favor of UPTE’s petition.
  • May 23, 2017 PERB issues an administrative determination that UC was wrong to classify Sys Admins as not union represented and that they should have been part of the UPTE TX unit from the time the classification was created.
  • By October of 2017 UC had exhausted all its appeals under PERB and the Board still ruled that Sys Admins should be part of UPTE. PERB ordered UC to negotiate the terms by which Sys Admins would become part of UPTE, yet UC refused and made the relatively unusual decision to appeal to the Court of Appeals without the support of PERB – a process which is expected to drag out through at least early 2020.
  • July of 2019 – as part of the UPTE bargaining process UC refuses to recognize Sys Admins as part of UPTE and insists on going forward with the Court of Appeals case, which they hadn’t presented arguments for yet.

For more information on I.T. union training email rgodinez@cwa-union.org
 

In Solidarity,

Jamie McDole, President, UPTE-CWA (UCD – Case Manager)

Joaquin Chavez, Vice President, UPTE-CWA (UCD – Sr Television Tech)

Dan Russell, Executive Vice President, UPTE-CWA (UCB – BTSA)

Charles Cannon, Member-At-Large, UPTE-CWA UCSD (UCSD – SA)

Nathaniel Carrera, Steward, UPTE-CWA UCSD (UCSD – BTSA)

Todd Kolze, Leadership Development Coordinator, UPTE – CWA UCB

Robert (Bobby) Godinez, Campaign Lead, CWA