UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: December 18, 2007

Happy Holidays!


(1) After A Successful Year, Delegates At TX/RX Bargaining Conference Set Priorities
(2) How Will Your Pay Change on January 1?
(3) CWA Presidential Endorsement
(4) Useful Reminders

(1) After A Successful Year, Delegates At Delegates at TX/RX Bargaining Conference Set Priorities
Bargaining surveys and the votes at our bargaining conference all indicate that benefits for employees and retirees, pension and compensation remain our top priorities. Last year we were able to resist UC's demand that we forfeit our 2% contribution to the DCP (401k-style plan) to bolster the pension fund. We also held off a two-tier HMO plan and initially proposed "double-digit" increases to our monthly healthcare premiums.

Nearly 80 delegates were elected to attend the conference in Berkeley which spent the weekend deliberating priorities and developing a plan to pressure UC to acquiesce to our demands. The delegates also elected a bargaining team with member representatives from each campus . These bargainers will be available to all members to receive input and report on the status of bargaining next year.

To continue the successes of this year we need to no longer give UC the option of changing our pension and healthcare costs when they want. UC must bargain these costs so that we know how much of a raise we will truly get after the costs for our benefits.

Other priorities included special equity increases for job titles that are paid far below market rates, financial assistance for childcare, parking and transportation and others. Contact your bargainer or UPTE staff to see a full break down of all the priorities.

(2) How Will Our Pay Change On January 1?
There are many changes to our pay on January 1. The TX and RX employees on the campuses (not at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab) will get their step increase of about 2% bringing their total increase to about 5.8% compared to the maximum 4% received by unrepresented employees. Employees at LBL got their entire raise in October and the HX employees also got theirs earlier this year. It is possible to get more than a 1 step increase if you can get your supervisor to push for it. You will see this in your February 1 paycheck.

The cost of health benefits is going down slightly for most employees. The average decrease is $2.65/month or about 0.1% of salary.

The maximum cap of our dues is increasing from $40 to $45. This will only impact employees who are paying less than the standard 1.3%, that is those making more than $37,000/year. This is about 0.2% of our salary.

(3) CWA Presidential Endorsement
Many of us participated in the first ever CWA poll to see who our union should endorse for president. A majority did not want CWA to take a position before the primaries. Among the candidates, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama all received nearly the same number of votes. Given the close results and the preference to not make an early decision, the national union has decided to not make a decision at this time but has given locals and regional councils the freedom to make endorsements if they so desire.

(4) Useful Reminders

  • Reminder 1: UPTE has an online member forum where you can discuss union related topics. Go to the UPTE forum website to register.
  • Reminder 2: If you have not designated a doctor for you to see if you are injured at work, UC can send you to their doctor.
  • Reminder 3: Register to Vote! The deadline to vote in the February 5, 2008 presidential primary is January 22, 2008.
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.