E-Bulletin for University of California Administrative Professionals: July, 2009

Furloughs = Paycuts = Enough is Enough!

Yudof’s furlough plan is the last straw
On July 16, the UC Regents approved President Mark Yudof’s plan to impose furloughs (unpaid days) on employees not covered by a union contract. The plan takes effect September 1, 2009 and is scheduled to last for 12 months.

The shortfall in state funding to UC comprises less than 3% of the university’s budget (the State’s deficit is close to 30%). President Yudof has alternatives to balancing the budget on the backs of staff and students:

  1. UC has billions in unrestricted reserves and “rainy day” funds, some of which could be used to bridge the gap and preserve the state’s premier educational institution.

  2. Use attrition to provide jobs for employees in departments with shortfalls.

  3. Cut executive pay

  4. Slow down UC expansion

For administrative professionals like us, these cuts come on the heels of years of negligible pay increases and ever-increasing workloads.

Union rights force UC to negotiate
Faculty and staff alike are appalled by the furlough plan.  Thousands of UC employees sent letters or signed petitions opposing the plan. A coalition of UC unions, including UPTE, went to the July regents’ meeting to voice their opposition to the plan. Combined with yet-to-be-announced campus budget cuts, furloughs and layoffs have dire implications for the university’s teaching, research, and public service missions. President Yudof has already announced the closure of California’s Poison Control Program and said that there would be additional program closures.

While tens of thousands of other UC staff have union rights and will object to Yudof’s proposal, we administrative professionals do not have a union contract, and are therefore among the most vulnerable groups of employees at UC.

It’s time for a union
Gaining union rights is the only real protection we could have. If you support a union for administrative professionals, there are two things you can do.

First, sign UPTE’s commitment card.  Signing a card indicates your support for a union drive in the administrative professionals unit in the near future. When a majority of us support the union, UC will have to sit down and negotiate.

Second, join the union. Dues are $22 per month and are an investment in your future at UC. Your voice alone is not enough to protect your career. Your dues will be used to build a union for administrative professionals and advocate in our interests.

If you want more information, or would like to schedule an informational group meeting in your workplace, please contact us.

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).

UPTE-CWA 9119  |  P.O. Box 4443, Berkeley, CA 94704 | 510.704.8783  |  info@upte-cwa.org