Professionals News Update: October, 2004


Voices of UPTE
UPTE-CWA Local 9119 is comprised of thousands of University of California employees -- all individuals with stories to tell. Following are the words of Elizabeth Wilks, who works at UC Santa Barbara.

I have worked for almost 9 years at UCSB's University Center- Accounting Department. I am an
Accountant II. Not being exclusively represented (I'm not covered by a union contract) I thought I could never change anything at work. During the AP campaign, our local organizer contacted me to talk about my job and the union election. I joined the union almost immediately and began getting involved, first at Santa Barbara and then at the statewide level.

In my experience, UPTE listens to its members. I have watched my priorities become important to a group larger than myself. This has motivated me to become more involved, to share my opinions and experiences, and to help develop UPTE's programs and policies. Fair wages, benefits, parking and education are some of things that are important to me and my continued happiness at work. Of course, I have also learned that not all things are important to everyone. Meeting with others, hearing their wants and needs, has given me a bond and a shared purpose that I didn't have before.

As a working mother who commutes over an hour each way to work, I know what stress is like. Adding a feeling of helplessness at work can make the situation that much worse. I have gained a sense of support when it comes to dealing with work-related issues. UPTE has helped ease my feeling of powerlessness to change things in the work place. The strength of any Union comes from the active involvement of its members and leadership.

The University is very good at letting UPTE's successes flow down to the non-represented staff so it makes sense to get involved. Wanting my voice to be heard is one of the reasons I became and remain involved. Your voice is important, too. Get involved in UPTE and make a difference!

UPTE Professionals Meet with UCOP About Wages, Campus Closures  
On July 16, UPTE representatives met with Office of the President Labor Relations to discuss campus closures and wages for un-represented professional employees at UC. Lisa Kermish and, Linda Segars (both from Berkeley), and Eric Cardenas, an Administrative Specialist at UCLA, attended from UPTE. The following is drawn from Eric's notes.

Campus Holiday Closures
Barring some sudden change, UC plans to make some winter campus “energy curtailment” closures permanent at selected campuses.    

Paid Administrative Leave
The new policy for two days of paid administrative leave is for the current year only. It was granted contingent upon employees receiving no general wage increase for 2004-2005. General wage increases are base-building and increase future retirement, 403-B contributions and other forms of compensation. For those of you keeping track, two days of leave is equivalent to approximately .8% of salary (less than 1%). UC has no plans to grant administrative leave for future closures.  

UC Wages and the Governor's Compact

UC believes that the Governor's "compact," which allows for 0% across the board pay increases for fiscal 2004-05, does NOT give UC the option to give across the board raises even if it is able to squeeze money out of its current budget in other places.  

UC clarified a point in the Compact about increased funding of 3% for fiscal years 05-06 and 06-07, and 4% for fiscal years 07-08 through 10-11:  

  • The increase in funding is to cover ALL increases, including medical insurance costs, parking, etc. It is possible that only what remains may be available for pay increases.
  • Each campus and each department will have discretion as to whether to give raises with this extra funding, so salary increases are not guaranteed.  

UC stated that their priorities for additional State funding are to:  

  • Restore outreach programs;
  • Prevent further tuition increases. Lower tuition if possible; and
  • Retain faculty  

(Please note that staff salaries don't make the top three)  

“Know Your Rights” Workshops

  • What are your rights under the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM)?
  • What should you do if you think your supervisor might be considering sending you a letter of warning?
  • What can you do to help if a co-worker is about to be laid off?

Learn about these issues and much more at two regional “Know Your Rights” workshops. These workshops are intended specifically for people who are NOT covered by a union contract.

Saturday, November 6
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
159 Molecular Biology Institute (Boyer Hall)
UCLA campus

Saturday November 20
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
CWA Local 9415 office
1831 Park Boulevard

Morning coffee and lunch will be provided and all attendees with be provided with a training and resource manual.

Reserve your spot by sending an email to Lisa Kermish at

Thanks to Eric Cardenas and Elizabeth Wilks for their assistance with this newsletter.