Professionals News Update: April, 2007

UPTE-CWA advocates for all administrative professionals. Get involved with other administrative professionals at your campus to give us all a say in our working lives. Contact your local administrative professional committee to get more information and share your opinion.

UC extra pay increase adds up to very little for very few
The University of California announced that it will grant pay increases of up to 2% April 2007 to the lowest paid employees as a result of an extra 1% they received from the state July 2006. While this sounds fair and generous, after reviewing how few people get the raise and how little is distributed, the picture changes. UPTE-CWA is pushing UC to distribute more of the money UC received to more people.

For employees without a union contract:

  • fewer than 3,000 or 12% will be eligible are eligible for the increases;
  • the pay increases will total approximately 0.2% of payroll, instead of the 1% UC received;
  • The increases will be effective April 1, 2007 even though UC received the money
    July 1, 2006.

This money is part of UC's plan to offset the dramatic increase in the cost of our benefits with pay raises. UC's raise does not come close to offsetting this years 50% increase in the cost of healthcare benefits (equal to about 1% of pay), a pending loss of our 2% Defined Contribution Plan benefits if contributions are re-directed to UCRS, and whatever else UC has in store for retiree health benefits.

Here are the details of UC's proposal and how many of the 12,000 Administrative Professionals will receive them:

  • 2% for employees who make less than $30,000/yr: 33 employees
  • 1% for employees who make more than $30,000 but less than $35,000/yr: 382 employees
  • 0.5% for employees who make more than $35,000 but less than $40,000/yr: 1867 employees

UPTE's research and technical employees who are covered by union contracts have the right to bargain about this additional money. We are bargaining to ensure that more employees received more of this money, while still granting lower paid employees a greater share. For more information about the technical and research employees bargaining, see http://www.upte.org/txrx-salaryaction.pdf.

The University of California admits that, overall, UC staff wages lag 15% behind market. While UPTE applauds the baby step taken to increase the salaries of those who are paid the least, we also recognize that UC has the resources available to bring all employees up to market value. And we are curious what UC is doing with the remainder of the 1% that it is withholding from employees.

UPTE has requested information from UC about the distribution of salary and equity increases for 2006-2007 for employees without a union contract. Once we receive and analyze the information, UPTE will report on its findings.

What's happening with proposed pension contribution changes?
It is now clear that, thanks to the efforts of union-represented employees, UC will not be able to implement its proposal for employees to forfeit our 2% retirement savings going in to the Defined Contribution Plan to the UC Retirement System effective July 1, 2007. While our coalition of UPTE-CWA, AFSCME and CUE continue the bargain, our members are gearing up for activities to influence a possible decision by the Regents at their May meeting (stay tuned for announcements). On the legal front, the labor board (PERB) has issued complaints about UC skipping required steps in the bargaining process and refusing to provide information relevant to the negotiations, all part of UC's rush to implement the changes without good faith bargaining.

UPTE has been hosting informational meetings about the proposed changed to our pensions and healthcare benefits. If you'd like to have a meeting in your department, please contact apcampaign@upte-cwa.org .

E-Bulletin prepared UPTE-CWA Administrative Campaign Committee. We welcome all comments and questions by email at apcampaign@upte-cwa.org or phone at (510) 704-8783.