UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: November 14, 2005

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Contents:

(1) TX/RX Contract Settlement Vote…Get All The Info
(2) Special Election Results Mean More Secure UC Benefits
(3) UPTE Holds Up Benefits Premium And Co-Pay Increases


(1) TX/RX Contract Settlement Vote … Get All The Info

UPTE members will have an opportunity to choose how they want their raise and whether they wish to retain their right to honor a picket line. A member vote on these two issues will be held in early December at polling locations in all workplaces. UPTE can conclude bargaining now that there is tentative agreement with the University on nearly the entire contract, even though UC continues to hold a final agreement hostage with its demand that we give up our constitutional right to respect picket lines.

Even if UC imposes the terms and conditions that we have agreed to, it cannot legally impose a ban on strikes. The University has accepted UPTE's proposal that an independent mediator work with both sides this week to attempt to achieve an agreement. If UC accepts that we will not sign away our constitutional rights without our members explicitly voting to do so, then UPTE will convert the early December vote into a contract ratification vote.

Details about the raises and the contract will be explained in departmental meetings at all campuses. If you wish to have such a meeting with your co-workers, call your local UPTE office and we can schedule a meeting at your convenience or make other arrangements that will work for you.

(2) Special Election Results Mean More Secure UC Benefits
You have undoubtedly heard about the results of the state's special election and the defeat of Governor Schwarzenegger's Proposition 75 intended to stifle public sector unions' participation in the legislative process. For UC employees, this means that the governor is less likely to revive his proposal to outlaw our pension plan. If he goes ahead anyway and spends enough money to get the signatures to put it on the ballot next year, we will be able to use our resources to speak out in opposition.

Let's celebrate the defeat of Proposition 75 as the first win in our effort to defend our retirement and benefits. We will have many more challenges in the coming years but we will be able to have a voice in policies so important to us and our families.


(3)  UPTE Holds Up Benefits Premium And Co-Pay Increases
UC has yielded to UPTE's request for an injunction to increase benefits premiums and co-pays. The open enrollment material sent out to all employees includes the clarification that UC will ‘reimburse' tech (TX) and research (RX) employees for the additional costs. UPTE and UC's attorneys meet this week to determine what ‘reimburse' means. UPTE will insist that the additional premium amounts not be deducted at all and that the University set up a mechanism to reimburse all employees who pay the additional $5 co-pay for a doctor's visit. UPTE will send out instructions on how to get these $5 back for each visit.

If we do achieve a contract settlement that includes our raises and retains our right to honor picket lines, then we will agree to new benefits premium and co-pay amounts.

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.