UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: May 20, 2008

(1) AFSCME Calls for Strike Vote: What Do We Do? 
(2) UC Proposes New Rules to Squelch Dialog and Close Campus: Give Your Input  
(3) We’re on YouTube!   

(1) AFSCME Calls for Strike Vote: What Do We Do?
Members of the patient care technical and service units at UC medical centers and campuses, who are represented by AFSCME, have called for a strike authorization vote. After nearly a year of bargaining, the university continues to offer AFSCME members less than it already gave other employees, and is making no concessions to bring these workers closer to market pay rates. UC’s hard-ball tactics at the bargaining table and during the impasse process have left AFSCME members with no other option to achieve their bargaining goals of fair pay and benefits protection.

UPTE-CWA encourages our members to support the AFSCME actions. In our negotiations, as with AFSCME, UC will likely propose inadequate pay increases and demand the right to increase our benefits and pension costs even after we sign a contract. Supporting our AFSCME co-workers will demonstrate our solidarity on issues of fair pay and negotiated benefit and pension costs -- two primary goals in our contract negotiations.

Here are actions you can take in support if AFSCME members decide to strike:

  • Attend the picket lines before work, at lunch and breaks and after work. Because our contracts are in effect employees may be disciplined with a warning letter if they refuse to go to work.

  • If possible, avoid doing work left undone because AFSCME employees are on strike. AFSCME will give UC 10 days notice of any strike so UC will have plenty of time to reduce patient and work load in anticipation of the strike. We have grave concerns for patient care, animal care and other work for which AFSCME employees are crucial. We cannot properly and safely do both our own work plus their work. Our licenses and credibility on the line. UC must adjust work loads so that we can ensure the quality of our work.

  • Distribute literature about how UC refuses to give fair pay increases, and talk with your co-workers about the issues.

We will provide UPTE-CWA members with more information as it becomes available. You can always check the AFSCME website for the most up-to-date status.

(2) UC Proposes New Rules to Squelch Dialog and Close Campus: Give Your Input!
The University of California has proudly boasted of a being place for the free exchange of ideas. Its motto is fiat lux, or "let there be light". UC wants an end to this tradition. All employees received a legalistic notice of a public notice of new regulations inviting input. Here are some excerpts from the new regulations:

  • No more freedom of assembly: "No non-affiliate shall hold or conduct any demonstration or gathering"

  • No more early morning jogs on campus: "Curfew: No non-affiliate shall enter or otherwise remain on University Property between the hours of midnight to 6:00 a.m."

  • No more placards for concerts and demonstrations: "No non-affiliate shall, on University property, without authorization from the Designated University Official: in any way affix, fasten, or attach to the premises any such signs, posters, placards or banners"

  • No more streakers: "No non-affiliate shall be nude on University property in any place open to the public or any place visible from a place open to the public"

Submit your comments by email through the special UPTE-CWA website that will automatically go to the appropriate UC officials. You can also attend a public hearing at UC Los Angeles on May 28, 2008 at 12:30 PM at the James E. West Alumni Center.

(3) We’re on YouTube!
UPTE-CWA members are making their YouTube debut. Check out how researchers and technical employees describe the work they do and what they hope to get out of our current TX/RX contract negotiations. We want to get out our message of the pride and professionalism with which we do our work, and how we want decent pay and good benefits so we can continue to work at UC.

We will be sending the links to these YouTube vignettes to faculty, legislators and UPTE-CWA members to educate and build support for our bargaining demands. We are just getting our feet wet in this arena and could greatly benefit from the advice of those of you with more experience and creative ideas in this field. If you have suggestions, please send them to Jelger Kalmijn.

Want more UPTE-CWA dialogue? Login to our member web forum at: www.upte.org/upteforum

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.