Professionals News Update: November, 2007

Where's the money?
If you had any doubt that a union contract means more money in your paycheck, you can put that doubt aside. Most UC employees covered by UPTE contracts are receiving 5.8% in pay increases compared to the merit pools of 4% for unrepresented employees. This means UPTE employees are receiving an additional 1.8% this year in addition to the extra 1% they received last year. While UPTE contracts have begun to win back some of the losses from previous years, UC continues to shortchange employees without union representation.

Non-represented employees lose millions
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Many unrepresented employees aren't even receiving the 4% that the legislature allocated for salary increases. UPTE has received information that many employees who received performance evaluations with ratings of satisfactory and above have been granted salary increases of less than 4%. If you assume that non-represented employees averaged increases of 3.5% on salaries of $45,000, the loss of .5% amounts to more than $40 million in undistributed salary increases.

Guidelines for distribution of the salary increase money allocated by the legislature (and supplemented by UC to the tune of 1% for equity increases) vary by campus, control unit, and department. UPTE has been unable to discern any consistent policy on wage increase distribution, but we have seen some departmental guidelines that clearly require employees who are rated satisfactory (and sometimes more than satisfactory) receive less than 4%.

We need to know what you know
Unrepresented employees throughout the UC system are buzzing about the lack of information that surrounded this year's salary increase distribution.

We can work together to hold UC accountable for the money they say they have for our pay raises. We have been told there is 5% available for raises. Does that money really get distributed and to whom? When there is a merit pool of 4%, do we really get that money? Who gets the 1% that is set aside for market or parity increases? Often the answer to these questions is "no" and "not me".

If you or those you work with have been shortchanged or feel you deserve more, let's raise the issue. Let's make sure UC at least distributes all the money they say they have. UPTE-CWA has obtained the pay for all unrepresented employees before and after the raises for 2006-2007 and wants to work with anyone interested in evaluating the information. Please visit our Wage Watch website to share your story, request more information and help us all get our fair raises.

UPTE-CWA will post more information as we all contribute on the Wage Watch website We encourage you to bookmark it and check back as you and your colleagues share stories.

Working together UC unions hold benefits increases at bay
Union members worked long and hard this year on benefits issues, winning three significant victories:

UC dropped its proposal for new pension contributions.

  • UC dropped its proposal to set up a two-tier high-low HMO health plan that could negatively affect employees.
  • UC dropped its threat of double-digit increases in employee healthcare premiums. UPTE-CWA members, joined by others in the Coalition of UC Unions, made strenuous objections to these proposed increases that would have come on the heels of an average 30% increase last year. In September we got the official numbers and the average premium for UPTE-CWA represented employees will decrease by 4%! Better still, the largest percentage decreases are for lower-paid employees. Comprehensive numbers are posted on our website.

So let's celebrate these victories. By working together with our sisters and brothers in the UC Union Coalition, we won a decrease in health premiums, rejection of the two-tier HMO and the postponement of any pension contribution. We have held the line on cost increases that would have eroded the improved wage increases that we negotiated in our contracts. Working together with the other UC unions, let's continue our string of successes.

Union membership is open to all
UC employees who are not yet covered by a union contract have the voluntary right to join unions. UPTE is the union that represents professional staff throughout the University of California . To learn more about UPTE and to download a membership application, visit http://www.upte.org/.