UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: April 25, 2005

(1) After successful strike, AFSCME service workers reach agreement
(2) Participate in an UPTE strike authorization vote next week
(3) Pressure campaign for UPTE contract

(1) After successful strike, AFSCME service workers reach contract agreement with UC

After a marathon bargaining session beginning the Monday morning after last Thursday's one-day strike, the AFSCME service workers have tentatively agreed to a contract that provides raises that address the poverty wages of UC's service workers. Here are some highlights of the new three-year contract that locks in raises provided by the state, and includes an additional 3%-4% in raises over the length of the contract:

  • Across the board increases of 3%, 3% and 4% subject to UC's state budget allocations for each year
  • All service workers will make at least a $9 per hour wage
  • Additional market equity adjustments of 1% in 10/2006 and 0.5% in 10/2007
  • Increases in shift differential for evening and night work of 35 cents per hour
  • Improved opportunities for promotion and layoff protection
  • Eliminating attendance policy that punishes employees for using sick leave
  • Free meal per shift for all food service workers

The participation of UPTE members in the strike along with members of CUE, UAW, AFT and CNA, made all the difference in demonstrating to UC that they needed to settle with AFSCME to achieve some labor peace. The contract for nurses (represented by CNA) expires on April 30. They have already hit difficult bargaining, with UC proposing wage concessions. UPTE and CUE (representing clericals) are also working without contracts and preparing for strikes. With support from other UC unions, we can also reach contract settlements soon.

(2)  Participate in UPTE strike authorization vote next week
In the wake of the successful AFSCME strike and contract settlement, UPTE members will be voting to provide our union with strike authorization. A strong voter turnout and approval of strike authorization sends a clear message to UC that they need to settle with UPTE. If members vote in favor of strike authorization, it will provide UPTE leadership the ability to call a strike if UC does not sign an acceptable agreement.

Come to the strike authorization polling locations at your campus and cast your ballot. Notices of polling locations have gone out to all members. Non-members may vote if they sign up at the polling location. We are asking that all members sign a strike pledge card so that your co-workers know we can depend on each other for solidarity.

An UPTE strike at this time will be of short duration like the AFSCME strike, and may well involve other unions at the same time. Our union has filed many unfair labor practice charges about UC's bad faith bargaining. If UC continues to violate the law, we have the legal right to strike. For more information about UPTE's strike benefits and other questions, see our contract mobilizing site.

(3) Pressure campaign for UPTE contract
While preparing to strike, UPTE members are using every opportunity to encourage the University to settle.
A letter went out to all science faculty from more than 100 members requesting their support for a fair and reasonable pay increase. Legislators in Sacramento have aggressively questioned UC administrators about what happens to savings from employee turnover as well as UC's bad labor relations policies. At every campus, UPTE is organizing pickets and informational networking with other UC unions. We are also approaching media to cover the story of high turnover UC positions hurting the University and employees.

Participation from union members at every level puts pressure on the University to realize we are united in our demands. You can get involved in any of these activities. If you have not already done so, please start by signing the strike pledge card.

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.