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

The Budget News (Don’t Jump!)
Well, the bad news finally hit the fan. Few professional employees were surprised to learn, in an October 22 memo, that the University will provide no salary increases to employees not covered by a union contract. This news comes in conjunction with the University’s announcement that it will soon require employee contributions to the UC retirement plan (see story below). Although the University’s announcement claimed that UC was “very disappointed” that they chose not to grant pay increases, the University has managed to eek out the dollars to grant exceptional pay increases to scores of executives.
It’s a question of priorities. Until we are willing to work together to safeguard our futures, the University will continue to place us at the bottom of their priority list. Employees covered by union contracts are subject to collective bargaining and the university cannot simply decide to grant 0% pay increases to these employees.

University to require pension contributions

The University has announced that, beginning July 1, 2009, employees will once again be required to contribute to the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP). UC says that employees will not immediately feel the effect of their contributions because UC proposes to divert the 2% contribution that employees make to a defined contribution plan (DCP – a supplemental retirement account). UC also says that they have not yet determined the amount of future contributions, but it appears that employees may be required to pay up to 50% of whatever amount UC determines is required to keep the UCRP solvent.

UPTE’s researchers question many of the University’s statements about the health of the fund and have been critical of UC’s determination almost 20 years ago to cease their own contributions to the UCRP. Please visit UPTE’s website for more information about the pension plan.

For the last two years, UPTE, along with the other UC unions, has successfully kept UC from re-starting employee pension contributions unless and until they are necessary. UPTE has also worked with the legislature to lobby for joint governance of the pension plan. UC employees are the only state employees who do not have a vote on the pension fund board.

Governor Schwarzenegger Vetoes Funds for the University of California Miguel Contreras
Labor Program

UCLA and UC Berkeley Labor Centers, Institutes for Research on Labor and Employment, and UC labor studies programs de-funded

In a surprise move, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed all funding for the University of California’s Miguel Contreras Labor Program just before signing the state budget on Tuesday. Schwarzenegger and California Republican legislators have long targeted the program for elimination, even as it has provided California policy makers with valuable research about the economic and workforce impacts of proposed California policies, such as health care reform and climate change legislation.

To express your support for the Labor Center, please click here:

Join UPTE Today to Build a Union for Administrative Professionals
As members of UPTE that do not yet have a union contract, we can advocate for our interests from our pay and benefits to workload challenges. Hundreds of staff professionals have signed up as members of UPTE. By joining UPTE, we not only support the effort to win union representation for Administrative Professionals, but we also support the already organized UPTE units in their effort to win a contract with fair wages, secure benefits, and a voice on the job. Dues are $22 per month and are paid through payroll deduction. To download a membership application, click here.

For more information, or to get involved, please email ap@upte-cwa.org.

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).