(1) TX & RX: Budget Battle & Accountability
Governor Schwarzenegger rejected pay increases for UC employees despite two previous years of insufficient increases. The governor was forced to reinstate funding for student enrollment (to avoid deferring students to community colleges), outreach programs and the Institute for Labor and Employment, all three crucial programs for a public university supported by UPTE. Also, the governor and UC remain committed to increasing UC's budget 3%, 3%, and 4% starting 2005 for the next three years and UC claims it intends to pass that increase on to employees.
Even though the state provides less than 25% of UC's budget, the University continues to use the state budget to set general raise amounts for all employees. But even when the state does not fund raises, federal and private grants as well as the many money making enterprises at UC (like the hospitals and recharge facilities) do have the ability to provide for employee raises.
All UPTE-represented employees are now on the step-pay system. The cost of providing step increases for eligible employees balances out with savings from staff turnover and vacancies. So even if UC claims it has no money, it can afford step increases for all employees who are not topped-out or on probation. At the bargaining table UC has claimed that it does have money but that it wants to spend it elsewhere.
UPTE aims to inform all our members about how our pay increases work and get them involved in holding UC accountable for the money it receives for our pay. You can host a “Where's the Dough?” workshop at lunch time with your co-workers. Contact your local UPTE representative and we will make sure you and your co-workers get your voices heard. For a sneak preview of the workshop take a look on our website (www.upte.org/UCwage.html)
(2) HX: Did You Get Your Time Off for Professional Development?
In our last contract, UPTE won the right for all represented employees to take up to 40 hours of paid professional development time each year (www.upte.org/hxcontract/profdevelpment.html). Many health care professional have found it difficult or even impossible to schedule this time with their department despite the fact that continuing education units are required for maintaining professional licenses.
We want to know about your concerns so we can make this contract article work. If you have not already done so, please fill out our brief survey (www.upte.org/hxactions/hxsurvey.html).
(3) HX: Wage Increases On July 1, 2004
All UPTE represented HX raises go into effect on July 1, 2004 (in your 7/28/4 biweekly or 7/30/4 monthly paycheck). The San Francisco, Los Angeles, Davis, and San Diego medical centers and student health centers will receive an increase of 2%. The Irvine medical center will receive 1.5% and individuals that are low in their pay range after long years of service will be given equity increases averaging 2.8%. If there are any problems with your raise amount make sure to contact your UPTE representative/steward right away. Student health center employees at campuses that have a medical center will receive the same raise as employees at that medical center. Student health center employees at campuses without a medical center will receive a raise in October if the campus employees get a raise.
(4) All: Possibility of Extra Holidays Thanks to UPTE
In response to UPTE and other unions at UCLA protesting the campus closure over last year's winter holiday, UC has proposed two days bonus leave if the state does not give a general salary increase this year. Last year, UCLA joined several other campuses in closing the entire campus and obligating all employees to use vacation or unpaid leave for the three days between the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
The University has asked unrepresented employees to comment on the proposal. UPTE will bargain for this leave in our contracts. UC's proposal is for employees to be able to take two paid days off between 12/15/04 and 6/30/05 . Campuses could encourage but not require employees to take these days off over the holidays.
(5) Prop 72: Health Care for Others So We Pay Less
Over the next months you will be hearing all about Proposition 72. This ballot measure will reaffirm the bill passed by the legislature last year that could bring health care to a million uninsured Californians. Currently many large and profitable employers such as Wal-Mart give new employees information for application to Medi-care. They augment their profits by letting taxpayers and employers who do provide health insurance pay the bill. Working people and decent employers cannot keep picking up the tab by having our health care costs 20% higher than necessary to pay these corporations' bottom line. UPTE strongly endorses Proposition 72 as a first step towards serious health care reform.