E-Bulletin for University of California Administrative Professionals: May, 2008

This bulletin provides a resource for workplace issues affecting UC’s staff professionals and ways we can work together to solve them. It also keeps us updated on administrative professionals’ organizing efforts with the University Professional and Technical Employees union (UPTE).

State budget problems
Even with Schwarzenegger’s revenue generating proposals the budget will still contain significant cuts and the outlook does not look promising for 2008-09 pay increases. The governor has proposed sweeping across-the-board programmatic cuts, which include the University of California. At this point, it appears likely that the University’s budget will include no money for staff pay increases for employees not covered by union contracts. This gloomy prognosis follows years of below-market pay increases for UC’s professional staff.

Meanwhile, professional and technical staff covered under UPTE contracts are at the bargaining table with UC. Wages are just one of the items on the table, but the UPTE bargaining team is arguing (both in negotiations and with the state legislature) that the state budget allocation should not provide a ceiling for salary increases. UC receives less than 20% of its funding from the state and the majority of its funding from medical center income and grant and foundation monies, all of which have salary escalators built in. Let’s hope they’re successful in their negotiations and that, someday soon, administrative professionals have the opportunity to sit down and bargain for our salary increases with UC.

Learn the latest on pay, healthcare and pension
UPTE members are hosting lunchtime workshops on UC campuses to talk about UC’s budget, its unfair and inadequate pay policies, and the future of UC’s healthcare and pension systems. The goal of these workshops is to give administrative professionals the history and reality behind these policies, and to come up with concrete ways that we can work together and make the university give us a seat at the bargaining table in deciding how we are compensated. We can host a meeting in your department or a friend’s (and we’ll even provide cookies!). Contact UPTE to host a workshop in your work area.

New UPTE Staff Coordinator
UPTE has hired a full time coordinator to help us lay the foundation for organizing a union for administrative professionals. Her name is Kim Carter, and she comes to us with many years of union organizing and union education experience. She will be based out of the Berkeley systemwide office, but will travel to campuses around the state.

Kim will be reaching out to you and working with administrative professionals on every campus. In addition, you may contact her to talk about workplace issues, getting involved in AP organizing, or any other matters.

Wage Brochure with Survey Coming Soon!
Be on the look out for UPTE’s new wage brochure and survey which will be hitting mailboxes soon. This new publication focuses on UC’s pay policies, pensions and benefit systems, and includes a short survey. Your input is very important to us, so we can be on top of issues that are important to administrative professionals. Please take a moment to fill out the survey and return it to us.

Help Us Build our Union
Administrative professionals around the state are working to build a union for us and our co-workers. Many of us want UPTE representation to be able to reform merit pay , secure our benefits, address increasing workloads, have better protection during layoffs, and to have a voice on the job and a seat at the bargaining table with management. You can get involved by:

  • Joining the Union
  • Joining the Organizing Committee
  • Distributing information
  • Asking your co-workers to get involved
  • Hosting a workshop in your work area

Union Membership is Open to All
UC employees who are not yet covered by a union contract have the voluntary right to join unions. Hundreds of staff professionals have chosen to be voluntary members of UPTE. Dues are $22 per month and are paid through payroll deduction. To download a membership application, click here.