eBulletin for Administrative Professionals
March 2011
Why does Wisconsin matter for us?

After ignoring a series of historic demonstrations over the last month numbering at times up to 250,000 people, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker on March 11 signed a bill that deprives Wisconsin public employees of their collective bargaining rights. The bill had little to do with balancing the state’s budget and everything to do with busting unions. Wisconsin’s public sector unions had already negotiated steep health care and pension contributions to help the state with its financial problems.

In Iowa, Ohio, Michigan and Florida employees have protested legislation that would gut collective bargaining rights. Here in California, Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) has introduced AB961 which would strip public employees of the right to bargain for our pension benefits.
California state senator Mimi Walters has introduced SB520, which would put new public employees into a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan (as compared to our current defined benefit plan). And UC Regent designate David Crane authored a February 27 opinion piece in which he advocated for the elimination of collective bargaining rights for University of California employees.

Public employees have become the new scapegoats and attacking our benefits and rights are the tactics employed by those who want to keep the playing field slanted. In California, public employees have the legal right to form a union, vote for a union, join a union, and have a union bargain on our behalf. Most industrial democracies throughout the world grant public employees these same rights.

Administrative professional employees through the University of California have the opportunity now to take advantage of these rights. If you support UPTE-CWA as the union for administrative professionals at UC, please sign our commitment card – the first step toward bringing us the protection of a union contract. Today is no time to sit on the sidelines. Talk to your co-workers. Organize a meeting and UPTE will be happy to provide a speaker to answer your questions. If we don’t use our rights, it’s easier to take them away.

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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).

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