|UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: May 10, 2006|
(1) UPTE Files Lawsuit to Challenge Retirement Transfer
At innumerable forums employees have asked important questions they need answered to make the most responsible choice for them and their families. UC, LANS and DOE have refused to respond during this critical decision making time.
The coercion out of the UC plan and the failure to provide information are truly disrespectful and unfair treatment for the thousands of hard-working employees who have already endured many years of difficult times.
This could have been done differently. UC and LANS could have offered full reciprocity between the pension plans for transferring employees. If UC did not have a major stake in LANS, they could not have forced employees to make the decision to pull out of the UC pension plan or lose their right to a defined benefit plan at LANS. There is truly a conflict of interest that is being used to deprive employees of their pension. At all times "the California Constitution mandated that the fiduciary duties owed to plaintiffs and their class took precedence over other duties" of the Regents, as stated in our lawsuit.
(2) UPTE Garners Some Concessions But Job Security Still Lacking
Since the decision to award the contract to the UC-led LANS, LLC, we have clarified that employees who keep their pension with UC and accept a job with LANS, can retire from UC with 120 days after beginning work at LANS and receive their retiree health benefits. Anyone who retires before transferring is not guaranteed a job.
Also, employees who previously retired and were re-employed like those affected by the 1995 reduction in force pension plan, will be able to transfer their pension just like any other employees despite information to the contrary.
LANS still, however, insists they will make all employees being "at will" which means you can be let go at any time without cause. UPTE will continue to lobby congress and pressure both UC and LANS to provide greater job security. Having additional protection from arbitrary management actions ensures that security, safety and scientific dialogue occur in an environment with less fear of retaliation. Without job security, the problems that occurred at Los Alamos are only more likely to occur again.
LANS has stated clearly that without a union contract forcing them to provide job security they will insist on "at will" employment. The Department of Energy also states that most of their non-union facilities have "at will" employment.
(3) UC and LANS Refuse to Answer Questions
UPTE has filed an unfair labor practice against UC for failing to meet and answer information requests. We will continue pursuing information so that employees can make choices that meet their families' needs best.
(4) Build a Union to Benefit Us All
|The UPTE E-Bulletin is prepared by UPTE-CWA President Jelger Kalmijn for all members.
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