The Executive Board is made up of our officers and 3 members-at-large. This body meets regularly and makes decisions about finances and organizing. Any member can run for office or become a member-at-large.
What is the role of the member activist?
The member activist is critical to the success of the union. Your officers and staff can’t hand you a strong union- only the collective action of the majority can do that! We are currently encouraging members to become union builders. These are the members, like you, who attend a training workshop to learn how to talk to fellow employees about UPTE and ask them to join us. We are running a membership drive now for two main reasons. First, given the new Fair Share fee law, there is no difference between the member and non-member in terms of money, but the non-member will still not have voting rights in the organization. We want everyone to participate! Second, our contract negotiations this year will go smoother and have the best results if we have an active, majority membership.
Other committees and activities that members can volunteer for include:
- Organizing Committee: a small group of people that will coordinate the activities of the Union Builders and direct the overall strategy of the membership campaign.
- Steward or zone contact: someone who helps the members in their vicinity with workplace issues and keeps them informed about current UPTE activities.
- Bargaining team member: a member who is elected to actually sit across the table from UC and negotiate a contract.
- Education/mobilization Committee: gathers, creates, and distributes information for the local. Provides positive UPTE visibility.
- Legislative/political Committee: works with elected government officials at the local, state and federal levels in order to improve working conditions at UC.
As you can see there are lots of roles for members to play in this organization, and the more people that become involved, the stronger our organization will be! You don’t have to know every detail about the organization and/or the contracts to be an effective activist. Nor do you have to devote every spare minute you have. A commitment of a few hours a month and asking questions as you go is what will make the difference. Just imagine how powerful UPTE would be if all 250 represented employees at UCR made this commitment!
Where does my dues go?
About 70 percent of member’s dues money stays with the local chapter at your campus. These funds pay for:
- Organizing expenses (such as know your rights workshops, newsletters and other literature, and/or salaries for paid organizers).
- Phone expenses, office costs, workshops, printing and mailing expenses.
- The expenses of grievance handling, including the cost of getting an impartial arbitrator to fairly judge cases that go to arbitration.
The remaining 30 percent of Member’s dues go to UPTE statewide. This money pays for:
- A small paid staff in the UPTE office in Berkeley (a statewide organizing coordinator, a publications coordinator, a bookkeeper, and office/database support).
- Legal expenses related to the filing of Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB).
- Legislative action on our wages, working conditions and other issues of crucial importance.
- Newsletters, contracts, and other informational literature on particular topics.
- Our web pages and email accounts.
The great majority of work done by UPTE is performed by rank and file UPTE members volunteering their time to make the organization strong and effective. Dues money goes to support essential day-to-day operations, with our highest goal being to keep UPTE a member-run, democratic union, with important decisions made at the local level.