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UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: May 05, 2009
(1) TX/RX Strike Threat Forces Bargaining to Start, But UC Trumps Up Dismissal of UPTE Negotiator and Continues Unilateral Changes
(2) Complete Health and Safety Survey Today to Support Contract Demands
(3) UC/Bechtel Eliminates Retiree Health Benefits For Livermore, Who’s Next?
(4) Educate Yourself About May 19 Special Election Ballot Initiatives    

(1) Berkeley TX/RX Strike Forces Bargaining to Start, But UC Trumps Up Dismissal of UPTE Negotiator and Continues Unilateral Changes
We have good news and bad news. The good news is that after 13 months of bargaining, UC has finally put a proposal on the table that is more than 0%. UC is offering 1% for each of the three years of the contract, plus a step increase in the third year. All increases in the last year depend on the state budget. So with a poor state budget, this offer really adds up to 2% spread over 3 years. While UC packaged this wage offer as part of a comprehensive settlement, none of the other articles were different than what they had previously presented. In an effort to get bargaining moving, the UPTE team immediately made counter offers on wages and health and safety issues, leaving the ball in UC’s court.

The bad news is that UC continues to implement parking and health benefit cost increases instead of bargaining them as they are legally obligated to do. UC also continues to refuse to provide critical information regarding the pension plan that we requested 2 years ago.

Worse news yet, UC has brought its union-busting campaign of our bargaining team to a new low. On transparently trumped up charges, the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab has told UPTE bargainer Victor Dorsett that they intend to dismiss him. Dorsett (he goes by his last name) was already being forced by management to follow additional procedures and have different quality standards because of his union activity. Now UC has used these exceptional standards and procedures to set him up for dismissal. Every one of the UPTE’s bargainers has been negatively impacted at their jobs because of their union activity. UC human resources have refused to take responsibility, giving union-busting managers the green light to break the law.

As long as UC continues to unilaterally implement changes and harass our bargainers, the bargaining process remains broken. We have demanded the immediate rescission of the intent to dismiss Victor Dorsett (see letter to John Cammidge, UC’s associate vice president for human resources).

We are compelled to proceed with the strike of our Berkeley local unless UC fulfils these demands prior to Wednesday, May 6.

On all other campuses, we call on members to attend support actions and also to fill out a strike pledge card today. If UC continues its illegal bargaining practices, we must have a strong statewide strike threat to force them to negotiate fairly.

(2) Complete Health and Safety Survey Today to Support Contract Demands 
If you have not done so yet, fill out the UPTE Health and Safety Survey today. The survey is in memoriam for Sheri Sangji who died on January 16, 2009 as a result of laboratory accident at UC Los Angeles.

(3) UC/Bechtel Eliminate Retiree Health Benefits for Livermore, Who’s Next? 
In a stunning setback, the Lawrence Livermore National Lab has replaced retiree health benefits with an annual check of $2400. This applies to those who retired when the lab was still run by UC as well as all current employees. LLNL is now run by a private limited liability corporation of which UC is a 50% owner.

This blow to those who can least afford it is a grim reminder that all our current retiree health benefits are not guaranteed. We are bargaining to have these benefits locked into our contract.

UPTE-CWA retirees and activists will be working with Livermore retirees to restore retiree health benefits.

(4) Educate Yourself About May 19 Special Ballot Initiatives 
The initiatives on the May 19 Special Election ballot are complex and could have a great impact on all of us. UPTE-CWA has not taken a position on the initiatives, but strongly encourages you to review the State of California Vote Information Guide and remember to vote.

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  |