UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: September 03, 2004

Contents:
(1) TX & RX: UPTE Makes Comprehensive Offer to Settle TX and RX Contracts
(2) TX & RX: UC Says “Give Up Your Raise for 2 Days Off” ... Bad Deal
(3) TX & RX: Dear Chancellor, Please Support Your Staff
(4) All: UPTE-CWA Annual Convention “Building Power Step by Step”
(5) Los Alamos Management Adds Insult to Injury

(1) TX & RX: UPTE Makes Comprehensive Offer to Settle TX and RX Contracts
At the most recent bargaining session, UPTE's TX (technical employees) and RX (researchers) team proposed a three-year settlement that would provide step increases, cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), and the ability for the union to challenge UC violations of our contract. The package would cost the University no more than its state budget allocation. With the contract about to expire on September 30, 2004 , the UPTE team is making a strong effort to wrap up bargaining prior to that date.

The University refused to consider the UPTE offer. Its bargaining team continues to propose no increase or steps for this year and next year, and only a small increase for the third year. That would add up to 3 years without raises for many employees. For more detailed bargaining information see the latest bargaining report at http://www.upte.org/bargaining.html.

There is no overall cost to the University in UPTE's wage proposal. Step increases moving employees up in their pay ranges balance out with UC savings from employee turnover. UPTE won the step pay system for all TX and RX employees in the last contract, and insists that UC provide the normal step increases. For more information on UC's pay system, see http://www.upte.org/UCwage.html.

(2) TX & RX: UC Says, “Give Up Your Raise for 2 Days Off” … Bad Deal!
UC is dangling two days off to get TX and RX employees if we'll agree to no step increases this year.

The union demands both. Two days off are worth an average of $270 on a one-time basis, but a 2% step adds an average of $700 into base pay every year. Base pay builds upon itself, resulting in higher levels of compensation year after year.

The suggested 2 days of leave resulted when UC closed the Los Angeles campus over the winter break last year to save costs, forcing employees to take vacation or leave without pay. UPTE demanded employees be given leave for the closure. Currently, the Berkeley , Los Angeles and Santa Cruz campuses force a complete closure, and on other campuses, many departments close.

(3) TX & RX: Dear Chancellor, Please Support Your Staff
UPTE activists on every campus are collecting petitions to deliver to their chancellors during the last week of September. The petition requests support from the chancellor for step increases, a no-cost item for UC. UPTE has asked for accountability for all money received for wages. When we visit each campus chancellor later this month, we will ask for accountability for this funding, especially in light of the many recent huge executive pay increases. Fill out the letter to the chancellor ( http://www.upte.org/chancellorletter.html ) and deliver it personally at the end of the month. UPTE will work closely with the clerical and service workers' unions to put pressure on the University for a fair resolution to all our contracts.

(4) All: UPTE-CWA Annual Convention “Building Power Step by Step”
All UPTE campus locals are currently electing delegates to our annual convention, which will be held in Sacramento on October 15-17. The convention will focus on achieving a decent contract for TX and RX employees, supporting critical health care reform by passing Proposition 72, and other priorities for the coming year.

(5) Los Alamos Management Adds Insult to Injury
Los Alamos National Lab's director continues to scapegoat employees for management deficiencies. He has publicly scorned an employee bumper sticker proclaiming the lab a “Work Free Safe Area” – referring to management's imposed work stoppage, which continues on many projects, jeopardizing funding and possibly leading to mass layoffs. LANL actually has the best safety record of any public or private nuclear facility. Recent reports of two more missing hard drives containing national security data are almost certainly false, with the recent discovery that the lost drives never even existed.

The lab's director has instituted a new process where any employee can be removed from work for unsubstantiated and even undisclosed accusations. The heightened culture of fear and retaliation will only worsen employee moral. UPTE leaders at LANL are meeting with the director to express their dismay at his recent actions.

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.