|UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: November 05, 2004|
(1) TX & RX: Members Reject UC's Illegal Plan for No Raises in Exchange for 2 Days Off
The legal obligation for UC to maintain the status quo after contract expiration provides us with leverage to get raises. Because the contract is now expired, the University must bargain reorganizations, work rule changes and schedule modifications (see http://www.upte.org/contractexpires.html for the details.) If you suspect any violations during this status quo period, contact UPTE immediately.
When the University closes campuses over the winter holiday break, it will force employees to stay off work. But with the contract expired, UC cannot force UPTE tech (TX) and research (RX) employees to take vacation for these days. If UC follows through with its threat to not give the days off to UPTE-represented employees, the union will file an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the state Public Employment Relations Board, asking for all employees' vacation time back
(2) DOE Labs: LANL Employees Protected, LBNL Out for Bid
While we support UC's continued management of the labs, we continue to have grave concerns about the existing culture of fear and retaliation. At the Los Alamos lab, Director Pete Nanos has hinted that hard-working employees, rather than managers, are responsible for problems like security failures and safety violations.
DOE has also released the first draft for the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab “request for proposals” (http://rfplbnl.sc.doe.gov), which is the first step in the bidding process.
(3) Health Benefits: No Cost Increases After UPTE Pressure
But because the expiration of the TX and RX contracts, the University must maintain “status quo” benefits in those units, and could not legally increase Pacific Care for these employees (or for clerical employees represented by the Coalition of University Employees). Days before the open enrollment mailing, realizing the legal bind it was in, the University informed UPTE that it would not increase Pacific Care costs either. So now, we've stopped ALL increases to benefits costs this year.
For more information on decreasing costs of other benefits, as well as advice from UPTE on benefit choices, see our Joint Benefits Committee report at http://www.upte.org/benefits/
(4) UPTE Convention: Steps in Contract, Strike Fund
The University, erroneously claiming that the steps cost money, wants to give no wage increases. In anticipation of UC's unwillingness to change their position, the convention delegates voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to set up an UPTE strike fund.
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