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August, 2011
It's our time! Union Yes. UC’s 3% solution
UC President Yudof’s announcement last week that staff without a union contract would be eligible to receive an average 3% pay increase this year is welcome news. 

It’s important to thank the unions at UC for this latest development. Without their successes at the bargaining table, UC wouldn’t feel the pressure to grant any pay increases at all to unrepresented staff, including Administrative Professionals (APS).

It’s also important to realize that UC’s 3% solution is more of a gesture than a substantive raise, since it comes after:

  • 4 years of no pay raises
  • an average 6% pay cut 2010-2011 when furloughs were in effect
  • rapidly rising health care premiums (many HealthNet premiums increased 110% in 2011)
  • increased mandatory contributions to the pension fund (1.5% so far, more coming)
APs need consistent raises, fairer pay system
Barbara G., AP at UCLA The ability of unions to preserve competitive pay is in stark contrast to years of inadequate and non-existent pay increases for staff without a union. Compare UC’s latest 3% solution for staff without union contracts to UPTE-CWA’s latest agreement for UC’s 8,000 technical and research professionals.
  • In the current year of UPTE-CWA’s contact, 3% of the approximate 5% annual pay increase is guaranteed, with the additional 2% going to those whose performance is evaluated as at least “satisfactory.” The agreement provides up to 15% in pay increases over three years.

  • The entire 3% of UC’s proposed raise for non-union staff is discretionary. Campuses, medical centers and control units can use any method they like to allocate the 3% merit pool. This leaves a lot of room for arbitrary, unilateral decisions on the part of UC officials or supervisors. For example, one unit may decide that "meets expectations" in an evaluation equals a 3% increase, while another may decide that "meets expectations" equals a range of 1.5%-2.5%, while only those with an “exceeds expectations” rating will get an increase of 3% or more.
For fair pay, we need a collective voice
Putting pay decisions entirely in the hands of UC management leaves employees vulnerable, even under the best of circumstances. A “merit“ based pay system doesn’t allow consideration of market equity, past years of under-payment and cost-of-living adjustments – all items that can be bargained collectively to benefit represented employees.

Coming after four years of no pay increases, it seems most fair to allocate the 3% as an across-the-board increase and not link it to performance. Even in challenging budget times, dedicated staff deserve fair pay raises to keep up with the cost of living. To guarantee such raises, APs need a collective voice at the bargaining table, like 90,000 other UC employees already have.

Join our campaign for union representation with UPTE-CWA by signing this commitment card.  Organizing committees are active on every UC campuses. We welcome your energy and insights. Want to talk with your coworkers about the issues during this exciting campaign? Contact us for more information on how you can become involved.

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The Monday Memo is a digest of relevant news for UC employees. It is edited collectively by a group of UC administrative professionals who are working for union representation with UPTE-CWA. We publish most Mondays, unless it is a university holiday, or we just need a mental health day off. You will only get one email a week from the Monday Memo on this list. Try it!

This bulletin provides a resource for workplace issues affecting UC’s staff professionals and ways we can work together to solve them. It also keeps us updated on administrative professionals’ organizing efforts with the University Professional and Technical Employees union (UPTE).
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