UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: August 29, 2006

(1) HX: UC Promises Compensation and Pension Proposals
(2) TX/RX: UC Demands to Bargain Pension Contributions
(3) Your Action Needed to Pass Legislative Bill to Expose UC Executive Perks

(1) HX: UC Promises Compensation and Pension Proposals
After four months of bargaining, UC has finally committed to presenting its first proposal for the raises that were due last July. They have also stated that they plan to hand across a proposal for pension contributions for HX employees. The latest detailed bargaining reports are always available on-line.

The UPTE-CWA health care professionals are the only employee unit that have an expired contract and whose wages are on the bargaining table at the same time as the pension issues. The UPTE-CWA TX and RX units, as well as all the other unions, have received a "demand to bargain" from UC (see below) but they already have contractual agreements for their 2006 raises. UPTE-CWA will demand that we see no changes for our pension contributions for 2007 and that HX employees should not be singled out. Any future pension contributions should be worked out together with all the other unionized employees.

Join other HX employees to fill out our "Fair Pay and Pension" petition which we plan to deliver to the CEO of each medical center in the coming weeks. You can get a copy of the petition and share it with your co-workers from your local UPTE-CWA activists.

Many health care professionals across the state who suffer particularly low wages compared to the market rates have prepared specific petitions and presented them to management with great effect. If you believe that you are not paid market rate for your work contact your local HX bargainer.

(2) TX/RX: UC Demands to Bargain Pension Contributions
UC has demanded to bargain pension contributions with UPTE-CWA and several other unions. As you have read either in these bulletins or in a variety of UC announcements, UC claims that the pension fund requires employee contributions starting as soon as July 2007 to remain solvent. Our current TX/RX contract for the first time barred UC from making any changes for the first year of the contract but permitted UC to make proposals to UPTE-CWA the second year.

To prepare for this bargaining every campus is holding a bargaining conference to discuss the issues and to elect delegates to a statewide bargaining conference to be held in Los Angeles on Saturday, September 9. We encourage all members who are interested in protecting their pensions to attend (UPTE-CWA will cover all travel costs). Contact your local UPTE-CWA officers to arrange your participation.

As we reported earlier, the UC Union Coalition has commissioned an independent actuarial report to evaluate UC's claims that the pension fund requires contributions as soon as July 2007. They conclude that the information the Regents considered when making these decisions was based on incomplete and only worst case scenario assumptions. Before making such a significant change, the Regents need to do their homework. We all want a stable pension fund but we need to balance that with the increases to health care costs, parking and low pay increases.

(3)  Your Action Required to Pass Legislative Bill to Expose UC Executive Perks
In response to the revelation of the countless secret special deals for UC executives including home loans, credit cards, dog runs and jobs for family members, the state legislature has drafted a bill to require transparency for all UC executive compensation and perks. The bill has passed the Assembly but is currently stuck in the Senate and needs to be passed this week if it is to go to the governor's desk for signature this year.

If you are sick and tired of UC executives secretly lining their pockets while they rely on us to buoy the pension fund, email the Senate Pro Tempore Don Perata, Senate Appropriations Chair Kevin Murray, and Speaker Fabian Nunez directly from our website. Please take a minute to do this right away because the legislative session ends this week.

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.