UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: May 16, 2005

Contents:
(1) TX and RX members vote for strike authorization
(2) Strike Talk


(1) TX and RX members vote for strike authorization
The University's prolonged unwillingness to put any real raises on the bargaining table has motivated UPTE TX and RX members to vote to grant the union strike authorization by a yes vote of 85.4%. More members participated in the voting than anticipated at every campus.

The University has steadfastly refused to bargain with the union over “turnover” savings and comes to the table with inflated calculations of the cost of step increases. Despite having the money to fix the problem, UC administrators refuse to address the dramatically depressed wages that compel dedicated employees to seek jobs elsewhere. UPTE has filed unfair labor practices over the University's refusal to bargain seriously and to provide the union with information relevant to bargaining.

Over the last 15 years, research wages have fallen behind inflation by more than 30%. UPTE has set its goal to stop this free fall in wages. Employees in the research and technical units cannot survive on dedication alone; they also need to eat and pay rent. The three basic demands for salary increases are:

  • We will not accept 0% for 2004-05
  • We want across the board increases like those in the governor's compact for the years beginning in 2005-2006: 3%, 3%, 4%
  • Step increases for longevity

The clerical workers represented by CUE have been bargaining for real wage increases as well. Working together with CUE and with the support of the other campus unions, we can show the real UC decision-makers how important a fair contract settlement is to all our members. When AFSCME service workers went on strike and large numbers of UPTE members and members of other unions refused to cross the picket lines, UC quickly came to a settlement that was ratified last week by 87.3%.

UPTE will have bargaining sessions this week and next week to try to achieve a settlement. If the University continues to refuse to bargain over all the money available and other unfair labor practices that obstruct our ability to achieve an agreement, UPTE will call a strike of limited duration shortly after.

If you have not done so yet, sign the UPTE strike pledge online so that we know we can all stand together if we must strike.

(2) Strike Talk
We do not want to strike if we don't have to. We are dedicated to our work and we have great work relations with our faculty and supervisors (usually) but our pay just is not working for us. Striking makes a statement that we need a solution.

Let your faculty and supervisor know we want their support by handing them a faculty informational flyer we have prepared. UPTE recently sent a letter to all science faculty signed by about 100 technicians and researchers, requesting that they speak to their chancellors and other UC administrators to express their support for our raises.

UPTE and other unions will be holding regular pickets and other actions leading up to a strike. Your participation sends a message to UC that we want a contract settlement and a raise now.

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.