Important Notice: Complete the UPTE-CWA health and safety survey today!

UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: April 28, 2009
(1) TX/RX Action Heats Up: May 6 Strike at Berkeley Campus to Jump Start Bargaining
(2) Our Lives On The Line: Complete Health and Safety Survey to Commemorate Sheri Sangji and Prevent Future Tragedies
(3) ATT Makes $12.9 Billion But Demands Concessions Forcing Possible Strike
(4) Celebrating Bob Dawson    

(1) TX/RX Action Heats Up: May 6 Strike at Berkeley Campus to Jump Start Bargaining
UPTE-CWA gave UC notice that our Berkeley local will go on an unfair labor practice strike on May 6, 2009 to protest UC’s refusal to bargain with the union. After 13 months of bargaining, UC has only made one wage proposal (for 0% raises) and substantive counter proposals for only 2 other articles. Over the last months, UC has refused to put any other proposals on the table, forcing the cancellation of multiple bargaining sessions. These actions violate the law and force UPTE to take action to force UC to comply with its bargaining obligations.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for this week, April 29 and 30. Our chief negotiator, Kevin Rooney, has warned UC negotiators that they must present real proposals on wages and other articles if they want to have a bargaining session. The union bargaining team and UPTE leadership have taken a stand to not waste dues money by attending bargaining sessions that only prolong the pretense of bargaining and obscure the fact that UC refuses to participate in any real way. We are hopeful that the strike that we have called for next week will finally push UC to take us seriously.

Even if UC finally gives us an initial proposal, more pressure will be required to get the contract that we deserve. A strong systemwide strike may be necessary to preserve our jobs and not get a pay cut. If you have not yet signed a strike pledge, please sign it now and hand it in to your nearest UPTE activist so that we can all stand together for a speedy contract resolution.

Check out our video mobilizing and bargaining report on YouTube. Comments are greatly appreciated as we experiment with giving reports and communication in a different format.

(2) Our Lives On the Line: Complete Health And Safety Survey to Commemorate Sheri Sangji and Prevent Future Tragedies 
In addition to fair pay and protecting our benefits, UPTE members made improved health and safety a priority for this round of bargaining. As many of you know, Sheri Sangji, a young staff research associate at UCLA, died due to a laboratory accident that was completely preventable. We need your input to craft proposals and pressure UC to accept our participation in creating a safer working environment.

Fill out the UPTE health and safety survey today. The survey is in memoriam for Sheri Sangji and for Workers’ Memorial Day, which is commemorated every April 28.

Also, we encourage you to participate in campus vigils and actions for Workers’ Memorial Day on your campus.

(3) AT&T Makes $12.9 Billion But Demands Concessions Forcing Possible Strike  
The members of UPTE’s national union (Communications Workers of America) that work for AT&T are the verge of a strike, as their contract expired last Saturday. AT&T has proposed two-tier health benefits with significant reductions for current employees and dramatic cuts for new employees, as well as expanding second-tier technicians who receive less pay than others doing similar work. AT&T also proposes taking away two holidays, providing no raise for the first two years, and many more takeaways. The 125,000 CWA members at AT&T make up the largest unionized work force in any US company. Standing against the corporate greed of AT&T will set an important trend for working standards for all Americans. UPTE encourages all members to stay informed and join in any actions in your area.

(4) Celebrating Bob Dawson 

As a life-time union activist and clinical laboratory scientist, Bob Dawson made significant contributions to the movement for workers’ rights among health care professionals. He passed away on March 23, 2009. Please visit our webpage dedicated to Bob Dawson.

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



UPTE-CWA 9119  |  P.O. Box 4443, Berkeley, CA 94704 | 510.704.8783  |