Professionals News Update: August, 2005

Contents:

UPTE to Meet with UCOP About Salaries and Benefits
So, California has a budget for 2005-2006. What does that mean for us 99 employees who are not covered by a union contract? As of this writing, it remains to be finalized, but 99 employees can probably bank on receiving something more than the 0% salary increases we've enjoyed for the last three years.  

UPTE representatives will meet with representatives of UC's Office of the President to discuss the distribution of 05-06 salary increases and possible changes to benefits. UPTE's positions include the following:  

Salary increases should be across-the-board and base-building. Salary stagnation is so severe that to take reserve any money from control figures for merit increases reward very few with very little and is unfair to most employees.  

IAP monies should be returned to the general pool. They should be across-the-board and base-building.  

Medical benefit plans should not increase premiums or co-payments. Lower-paid employees should pay lower premiums and co-payments than higher-paid employees. We hope to learn more about UC's plans to address the continuing erosion of wages, thoughts about soaring benefit costs, and possible changes to our retirement plan. Our next e-bulletin will report on this meeting.  

UPTE Agrees to Tentative Settlement After Labor Board Charges UC
On June 1, UPTE and UC reached a tentative settlement agreement after the University agreed to provide virtually all of the information requested by UPTE. California's Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) had issued a complaint against the University of California for refusing to provide UPTE with information related to the 99 unit.

In 2004 UPTE requested a variety of pieces of information in order to effectively meet and discuss with UC's Office of the President about salary and other issues related to the 99 unit. The University either refused or failed to provide information including salary history of executive employees, aggregate savings from staff turnover, salary surveys, amount of incentive award program funds remaining per campus, etc. UPTE argued that it requires this information in order to effectively lobby for 99 unit salary increases and other benefits costs.

"The settlement conference with PERB was extremely productive" said Elizabeth Wilks, an Accountant at UC Santa Barbara who attended the meeting. The PERB attorney who negotiated the agreement clearly didn't buy the UC attorney's argument that they didn't have to provide information to UPTE because we don't exclusively represent (have the right to negotiate a contract for) 99 employees.

UPTE has requested similar information for FY 2005-2006 and has scheduled a meeting with UCOP to advocate for 99 employee salary and benefits. (See preceding story.)

UPTE To Hold Annual Meeting in San Diego
UPTE members from around the state and beyond will gather in San Diego on October 14-16 for the annual UPTE-CWA Local 9119 convention. This meeting represents the highest body of UPTE when it is in session and provides the opportunity for UPTE members from around the state (and Los Alamos!) to meet each other and chart the course for UPTE in the coming year.   Friday, October 14 is reserved mostly for workshops that promise something of interest for everyone. If you plan to attend, please make sure that you leave time for activities on Friday (and don't just come for the weekend). Saturday, usually a busy work day at the convention, is traditionally capped by the annual fund-raising bingo game, where UPTE members have the opportunity to play a fun game, act silly, and donate funds to the very worthy Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.  

Campus locals will soon be holding elections for convention delegates and alternates, but all UPTE members are welcome to attend. Check with your campus local for more details.  

Membership Has Its Privileges
Our union is only as strong as the members who run it. And the more people who choose to join UPTE, the stronger we are in the eyes of the University. To fill out an UPTE membership application, go to http://www.upte.org/join/

Member benefits include the right to vote in UPTE to help determine the direction of the union as well as access to the AFL-CIO's union benefits (discounts, insurance plans, credit cards, etc.) Joining UPTE also puts you in touch with others who are interested in their working lives and are willing to step up to the plate to do something about it.