|UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: September 26, 2006|
For some employees, these increases will wipe out most of thier pay raises for next year.
Please give your input on what these increases mean for you, and what you are willing to do to stop them. Your involvement makes the difference. Please encourage your co-workers to fill out the 2-minute "health benefits survey "
Together with other UC unions, UPTE-CWA opposes these unjustifiable increases. On top of lagging wages, proposed cuts to our salaries to fund the pension plan, and higher parking rates, rank-and-file UC employees cannot afford these premium increases. In future contracts, we can no longer trust UC to provide a decent health benefit plan and will have to bargain the costs in advance.
These increases also underscore the need to support overall health care reform to provide universal health care coverage and control costs. The only proposal that does both is a single-payer plan where insurance companies are taken out of the profit loop and employers cannot pass on the costs. UPTE-CWA strongly advocates for single-payer insurance. UC has opposed all health care reforms that have come before the Legislature.
(2) TX/RX: Unions Tackle Pension Contributions Together
UPTE tech (TX) and research professional (RX) delegates to our bargaining conference elected a bargaining team and agreed unanimously on 6 major demands:
Currently UC has agreed to bargain jointly with the three unions that immediately face changes to pensions: UPTE-CWA, AFSCME (service and patient care technical employees) and CUE (clericals). At a union coalition planning session last weekend, leaders and negotiators from all unions agreed to focus on: 1) UC's employer contributions to the pension plan, 2) protecting retiree health benefits, and 3) obtaining needed information from UC to help us determine what contributions are truly required to keep our pension fund solvent. We agreed to propose initial bargaining dates of October 25 and November 9 to kick off the process.
All the unions will do a Solidarity Action together on the first day of bargaining to show how important this issue is for everyone. Please stay tuned for the details at your work place.
(3) TX/RX: What Are Your Raises?
Your supervisor has the option of giving you more than a 2.0% or 2.3% step increase on January 1, 2007. If you receive an above satisfactory performance evaluation, or you are underpaid for the work you do, you can make a pitch to your supervisor to support a larger step increase. If you believe that you are not receiving the appropriate raises, please contact your UPTE steward right away so that we can investigate and help fix the problem.
See the UPTE-CWA TX/RX web page for complete table of the upcoming raises and eligibility by job title.
( 4) HX: UC Demands Pension Concessions in Exchange for a Step Pay System
Health care professionals are also delivering the message of "Fair Pay and Pension" to UC's medical center CEOs. At the Irvine medical center, about 100 employees and their supporters from the nurses, patient care technical and service unions, held an informational picket to support bargaining. Events are scheduled for all the other medical centers in the near future. Your participation will enable all of us to protect our pension and get a fair pay system. Stay up to date on the progress of negotiations by checking our HX negotiations web page .
(5) 99s: Raises Late and UC Doesn't Even Know How Much
Despite the fact that these raises are effective in less than 2 weeks, UC does not even know how much the pay ranges for unrepresented employees will go up. This has usually been about 2%. This means that if new hires are brought in at the bottom of their pay range, they will only receive 2% more than new hires last year. In our experience, because employee turnover erodes the wage base, the average pay of employees only increases by the amount of the range adjustment over the long run.
This uncertainty, combined with overall lower raises than unionized employees receive, will be compounded by UC's ability to unilaterally impose any pension contributions on employees not protected by a union contract. UC has stated that it intends to impose a 2% pension contribution, which currently goes into a personal 401k-style supplemental retirement fund (called "DCP") as soon as July 1, 2007. For unionized employees, UC must go through the collective bargaining process. UPTE-CWA will argue that 99s should have the same pension contributions at the same time as unionized employees, and that they should not be punished because they lack a union contract to protect them.
(6) Elections: Winning On Our Issues
DON'T FORGET: Make sure to complete the health benefits action survey (takes only two minutes).
|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.