For fair pay, we need a collective voice
||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.
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.
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