|UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: July 15, 2005|
UPTE members have persistently kept public pressure on UC to address high turnover rates among researcher and tech staff. Members have made their voices heard by attending scientific events and bargaining sessions. On the legal front, the state labor board refused UC's request to declare negotiations at impasse. The board has also issued complaints against UC for refusing to provide wage information relevant to bargaining.
Higher level UC administrators have now intervened in the bargaining process to seek a resolution. UPTE's wage demands remain the same: across-the-board increases matching UC's funding compact with the governor, as well as step increases. UPTE also wants limits on increases in the cost of benefits, and refuses to give up the right to support other unions when they have job actions. We hope that the involvement of real UC decision-makers will lead to an agreement.
In the mean time, UPTE has launched a “membership campaign for a contract.” High staff turnover rates at UC translate into many new hires. We're reaching out to them (and any other workers who have not yet joined) to welcome them into the union. Our new membership form allows everyone to make a statement supporting a fair raise at the same time they sign up union membership. If your co-workers have not yet joined the union, please ask them to join so they can get member benefits and help all of us get a contract sooner. We'll take the new membership signups to the bargaining table to convince UC that the longer it holds out, the more employees will line up against them.
If all this public pressure on UC does not yield a contract, UPTE will work together with the clerical union (CUE) to plan significant workplace actions when students return in the fall, including a possible strike.
(2) Nurses Set To Strike Next Thursday
UPTE encourages its members to support the nurses' strike any way they can. If there is a picket line at your worksite, you have the right to not cross it. You can attend rallies, wear buttons to work, and participate in other worksite actions. We will be sending an additional email next week with more detailed information on picket sites and ways you can support the strike.
(3) Benefits and Retirement Threatened
UC's unions have advocated that UC support broader health care reform that will keep costs down for everyone, such as preventing monopoly hospital chains from overcharging for services or providing low-quality health care. The University has over 150,000 employees and retirees who are members of its health plans, giving it great leverage on these hospital chains to lower costs. At the same, the UC unions will continue to work on broader health care reform so that more Californians have health care coverage. UC hospitals take up more than their share of indigent, non-insured medical emergencies.
PTE will continue to meet with UC benefits managers over the summer to get more information. For the latest, check the reports from our Joint Benefits Committee at our benefits website.
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to have dialogue with other members about UPTE-CWA issues, sign up for our web forum.