Your UPTE bargaining team met with UC negotiators and a neutral, state-appointed third-party in San Diego for the 3rd and 4th days of HX fact finding.
Fact finding is a process where the union and employer both present evidence supporting their bargaining proposals and the third-party (or fact finder) writes a report based on that information, making recommendations that could help reach a settlement. The recommendations are not binding but state collective bargaining laws require this step to be completed as part of the negotiating process.
Physicians Assistants, Clinical Laboratory Scientists, Genetic Counselors, Physical Therapists, Speech Therapists, Nuclear Medicine Technologists, Clinical Social Workers, and other UPTE members traveled to fact finding in Oakland and San Diego to share their experiences of working for nearly 2 years without a contract and how patients are being impacted by the recruitment and retention crisis that UC’s below market wages have created.
UC responded with its usual perfunctory gratitude but didn’t acknowledge that its proposals have created this crisis nor did it improve its offer. Even more insulting, they aggressively interrogated our members who identified pensions as an important issue, apparently attempting to get an admission that pension cuts don’t pose a threat to the future of our union.
We anticipate that the fact finding report will be complete within two weeks and that a final bargaining session will be scheduled shortly thereafter, where UC is likely to present a ‘Last, Best, and Final Offer,’ as it did for Research and Technical contracts in January.
If an agreement is not reached at the final bargaining session or shortly thereafter, the University would likely claim that it is free to impose its terms on HX because the parties are at impasse, even though UC has committed multiple unfair labor practices so any impasse would not be the result of good faith bargaining on UC’s part. Nevertheless, once at impasse, UPTE would also be free to call a strike to pressure UC into bringing a fair proposal to the table, whether UC has imposed or not.
We sincerely hope that UC will bring fair proposals to the table, given the clear and unanimous testimony from our members and the lack of a justification for not offering one from UC’s negotiating team. However, we must prepare ourselves to strike for a fair contract if necessary.