Professionals News Update: July, 2004

Contents:

UPTE Pressure Results in Two New Paid Administrative Days
In 2003, UPTE representatives met with UCOP labor relations representatives to discuss UC employees' forced use of vacation leave to cover UC campuses' end-of-the-year holiday closure periods. At that meeting, UPTE urged UCOP to minimize the financial pain caused to employees by the campuses' decision to cut costs by curtailing energy usage during these periods. UPTE argued that, particularly in light of lean budget years that have resulted in small or non-existent salary increases, the required use of accrued vacation leave [or leave without pay] caused significant negative impact on UC employees' overall compensation.

We are pleased to see that UCOP has taken a step in the right direction by following UPTE's advice and granting two days of paid administrative leave to non-represented employees. Although the policy is still in the “proposal” stage, we expect it to be finalized and implemented. The “Bonus Leave Program” is established for one year only. The paid administrative leave days may be used anytime between December 15, 2004 and June 30, 2005 , although it is expected that, at campuses that participate in the energy curtailment program, those days will most likely be used over the period of the shutdown. Implementing procedures for campuses that do not close, or that experience only partial shutdowns, are being drafted.

For more information about the proposed policy, see the website at: http://atyourservice.ucop.edu/employees/policies/policies/proposed_policies/bonus_leave.html


State Budget Shouldn't be Balanced on UC Employees' Backs
Every UC employee knows that California 's budget is facing the worst crisis in its history. Severe cutbacks, including layoffs and program closures, have already taken place and more are threatened. Non-represented employees are facing our second consecutive year without salary increases, while we are required to pay more for parking and healthcare benefits. What UC employees may not know is that UC receives less than 25% of its operating budget from the State. The remaining 75% comes from contracts, grants, and revenues generated by the UC teaching hospitals. In addition, most contracts and grants include annual salary “escalators” that increase salaries by a fixed percentage (currently 3.5% per year for merit-based non-academic staff).

In a recent letter to UCOP Labor Relations, UPTE professional members requested information regarding salary savings from turnover, incentive awards plans and campus fund balances, anticipated changes to UC's healthcare plans and costs, proposed parking rate changes, copies of salary surveys conducted to compare UC salaries with market rates, and UC's plan for recovery from staff salary stagnation.

Once UPTE receives and evaluates this information, we will meet with UCOP to clarify issues and propose ideas that safeguard the jobs and compensation packages of UC's professional employees.

If you are interested in attending such a meeting – either at your campus or with UCOP – please contact info@upte-cwa.org .

Know Your Rights
Are you interested in learning more about your rights under UC's Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM)? Are you or a co-worker having problems on the job and want to learn how best to address them? Are you worried about layoffs or other cost-cutting measures in your department? Are you willing to help co-workers or other UC employees who are having problems on the job?

If you'd like to learn more about these and other issues related to your employment at UC, UPTE will host two “Know Your Rights” workshops over the summer. One will be in Northern California and one will be in Southern California . We'll announce the dates and locations in our next newsletter, but if you'd like to be placed on the advance notification list, please contact UPTE at info@upte-cwa.org and let us know.


We're Still Here
Although UPTE lost the recent election to represent UC's administrative professional employees, we have not gone away. When we founded UPTE in 1990, our goal was to improve the working lives of UC's non-exclusively represented employees. In the ensuing fourteen years, UC's technical, research professional, and healthcare professional employees chose UPTE as their exclusive representative (which means that they have asked UPTE to bargain a contract on their behalf).

UC's administrative professional employees recently voted to continue to not bargain with UC, but the issues and concerns that prompted thousands of employees to vote “yes” for unionization remain. UPTE is committed to improving our working lives at UC and the best way to ensure that the needs of administrative professionals are represented is to join the union. Monthly dues are $20 and you can download a membership application at http://www.upte.org/join/.