UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: November 05, 2007

(1) TX/RX Workers Get Great Raise, Higher Than Non-Union Workers
(2) UPTE-CWA Grieves Abuse of Limited Appointment Employees
(3) Help Decide CWA's Endorsement For U.S. President
(4) PERB Certifies UPTE as Representative for Livermore Workers, But Lab Refuses to Bargain

1) TX/RX Get Great Raises, Higher Than Non-Union Workers
UPTE-represented technical workers (TX) will get a 3.7% raise and UPTE-represented researchers (RX) get a 3.8% raise in their November 1 paycheck. In addition, all TX and RX workers that are not at the top of their pay scales will receive a step increase of 2% to 2.3% effective January 1, 2008 . This total of about 5.8% compares well to most unrepresented employees receiving less than 4%.

To figure your exact increases, find your job title and step on the compensation table.

  • For TX: Go to TX comp website and multiply the values by the 2.7% (i.e. 1.027) cost-of-living from last year and then 3.7% (i.e. 1.037) from this year
  • For RX: Go to RX comp website and multiply the values by the 2.8% (i.e. 1.028) cost of living from last year and then 3.8% (i.e. 1.038) from this year

Ask your UPTE-CWA union builder or your local union office if you have any questions. If you believe that your raise has been calculated incorrectly, do contact us immediately.

Because the TX and RX wage increases are collectively bargained, it is clear in advance what they will be (see TX and RX contracts). For non-union-represented UC employees, we have been unable to discern any consistent policy on wage increases. Beyond announcing a merit pool of 4% and a 1% pool for equity increases, there is no information. Anecdotal information indicates that many employees will receive less than 4%. We encourage non-union-represented employees to go to the UPTE-CWA wage watch webpage to share any information or comments.

(2) UPTE-CWA Grieves Abuse of Limited Appointment Employees
UPTE-CWA has discovered than many individuals have been hired as "limited appointment" in violation of our contracts. "Limited appointments" are intended for positions that will never reach 1000 hours in a calendar year, either because they are very part time olr are short in duration. Many of these "limited appointment" employees have been hired at full time with the intention of converting them to career after 6 months. These individuals are deprived of important benefits and service credit for retirement.

Some departments even recommend hiring individuals as limited appointment' to circumvent the open hiring process when the supervisor already knows who they want to hire. While these employees may be grateful to have a job, they are being deprived of dental and vision care benefits, and have no employer disability insurance to protect them if they get hurt on the job. They also will lose up to six months of retirement credit.

If you are limited appointment and work more than half time, this union grievance may apply to you. All individuals who believe they may be incorrectly appointed as "limited appointment' should fill out and submit a brief questionnaire that will help the union determine if you should be "limited appointment." Download the survey and submit to your local UPTE office . If you request it, we can keep your information confidential.

UPTE-CWA stopped the long term abuse of casual employees with a grievance several years ago. Back then, UC would lay off individuals one day a year for the sole purposes of denying them career status. As a result of that grievance, thousands of UC workers received retroactive service credit. We will pursue this current contract violation with equal diligence.

(3) Help Decide CWA's Endorsement for U.S. President
UPTE's national union, the Communications Workers of America, is asking all members to vote on line for their choice for president. Go to the CWA website so that you can have a say in who our union will endorse. Please pass this along to any other member. We hope that at least 10% of our members will participate in this poll, which ends on November 9, 2007 .

(4) PERB Certifies UPTE as Representative for Livermore Workers, But Lab Refuses To Bargain
A majority of skilled trades workers at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab petitioned for union recognition. The state's Public Employment Relations Board certified UPTE as exclusive representative for the workers on September 26, 2007, five days before the lab was privatized and recontracted to a firm run by UC, Bechtel and 2 other minor partners.

Rather than begin negotiations, lab management is insisting on a new election with rules that allow it more power to illegally sway the vote. Management hopes that the delay in bargaining will dishearten the employees and lead to weak bargaining just as the lab plans for massive layoffs due to budget shortfalls. UPTE's attorneys are confident this strategy will fail.

UPTE activists at the lab are working with legislators and other supporters to convince management to stop wasting precious tax dollars on frivolous legal objections and start bargaining fairly.

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.