eBulletin for Administrative Professionals
July 2011
Coming soon: A new survey about employee concerns. Watch your email for a link to a web survey sponsored by UPTE and designed to learn more about the issues that matter most to UC’s administrative professional employees.
What is “Operational Excellence” and how does it affect me?
The university’s “Operational Excellence” program (which has different names at different campuses) is a series of programs designed to consolidate services and reduce costs. It is underway and many aspects have been implemented at some campuses, while other campuses are just getting started. For administrative professionals, it has sometimes meant new or changed job duties, work speed up, or even layoff.

Where did the idea come from?

Faced with declining state revenues, UC Berkeley contracted with the Bain Company, Inc. to make recommendations about how to cut costs. (There is skepticism about how much will ultimately be saved, as Bain’s initial contract was for $3 million, and the full contract period amounts to $11 million.) Bain made a series of recommendations, mostly cutbacks and consolidations in the “target areas” of human resources, informational technology services, financial services and research administration.
What happens in our workplace?
Typically job functions are removed from a department and reassigned to an existing or newly created “shared services” unit. Employees who previously performed those functions are laid off and invited to apply for a reduced number of job vacancies in the newly created unit.

Consequences: intended and otherwise

  • job losses
  • reduced services
  • increased workloads
  • loss of specialization
  • lack of responsiveness

What can we do to avoid these negative consequences?

  • Involve front-line service-providers in the discussions – not just high level managers
  • Fight to preserve
    • high quality services to students, faculty, researchers, and the public
    • reasonable workloads
    • acceptable response times
    • specialized services
    • good careers for qualified staff
    • access to education

Support UPTE for a voice in workplace changes
Right now, UC can implement any changes without consulting us. The only way to have effective input is by having a seat at the bargaining table. How can you help make that happen? Sign an UPTE commitment card today! Other union-represented employees are already at the bargaining table now negotiating protections for their jobs, benefits and pensions, in addition to preserving the high quality services we provide. Administrative professionals need to step up and join them.

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Want to know more about UPTE-CWA?
Here’s our latest newsletter, which covers issues affecting UC employees across the state. Want to ask a specific question, set up a meeting in your department, or find out more about the status of the organizing campaign? Email 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  |  ap@upte-cwa.org