UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: May 12, 2004

(1) UC and Governor Preparing a Compact for Budget: Sign “Count Me in Card”
(2) UPTE Reorganization Plan: Input Requested
(3) Problems at UC-managed DOE Labs

(1) UC and Governor Preparing a Compact for Budget: Sign “Count Me In” card”
Rumors and lobbying have come true, UC and the governor are hard at work on agreeing to a multiple year “compact” for funding. The big question is, “Will the agreement include raises for staff over the next three years and will UC be held accountable for this money?” This Thursday, May 13 we will set up meetings with key legislators and the governor's office to deliver our message that a compact must include the staff who do the work.

They need to hear your voice! If you have not yet signed our “Count Me In” card please do so right away on our web site at http://www.initcomp.com/UPTE/legcard.html. You can fill in your name and job information and send it to us automatically. We will deliver it in person this Thursday and keep you posted on what happens.

Getting staff wages included in upcoming state budgets and making sure they are not diverted for other purposes is the first step in our effort to get a TX/RX contract with decent wages. Our bargaining sessions with UC will begin on May 25-27 and June 2-4 in Oakland . UC has presented us with an initial offer of no raises for this year. Once the state budget is passed, we will target the funds that UC receives for our raises including a 0.5% incentive award fund, staff turnover savings and money for raises from grants and other fund sources.

One of our principal goals in our contract will be for all TX and RX employees to regularly receive step increases each year. Now that everyone is on a step pay system, we have to ensure that the steps are implemented. The money is there so let's work together to make sure we get it.

(2) UPTE Reorganization Plan: Input Requested
UPTE campus locals have scheduled many meetings to get feedback from members on how we can better inform everyone and address workplace issues. If we can organize a meeting with you and your colleagues in your workplace, let us know. What are your priorities for our contract and raises? What other workplace concerns do you have? What do you think about parking and health benefits? We want to know! The initial reorganization plan is available on our website at http://www.upte-cwa.org/aboutupte.html on the left side of the screen. (The link for this plan was incorrect in the special letter that went out to members last week. Apologies.) You can also email our President directly ( fueradelinea@igc.org ) with your comments.

(3) Problems at UC-managed DOE Labs
UPTE represents employees at all 3 national laboratories managed by UC: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Los Alamos National Lab. Last year's energy appropriation bill had a last minute amendment that mandated the Department of Energy to put all three national labs that UC has managed since their inception decades ago out to an open bidding process. The bids for LBNL will be evaluated by early next year and those for LLNL and LANL probably some time early next year.

UPTE members have set two main goals. First, protect employee benefits and rights. Second, retain UC as the contractor as long as UC takes concrete steps to improve labor relations.

Our members have launched an aggressive lobbying campaign in Congress, the Department of Energy and other committees preparing and evaluating the bids for these contracts. As a result, protections for employee benefits will almost certainly be included as a condition for any contract (in the Request for Proposals).

Building UPTE membership and activism will play a critical role in determining the employment future for more than 20,000 UC employees at these three labs.

The UPTE E-Bulletin is prepared by UPTE-CWA President Jelger Kalmijn for all members.
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to write him at president@upte-cwa.org. If you wish to have dialogue with other members about UPTE-CWA issues, sign up for our web forum.