UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: September 08, 2009
16 Days Until TX/RX ULP Strike!


Contents:

(1) Faculty Walkout & Campus Teach-In On Day of UPTE Strike, September 24, First  Day of Classes for Most Campuses
(2) 96% of Voters Have No Confidence in Yudof, Demand Removal
(3) Research is Collateral Damage in Yudof’s Budget Cuts
(4) Latest Information on Yudof’s Furloughs, Layoffs and Reorganization
(1) Faculty Walkout & Campus Teach-In on Day of UPTE Strike, September 24, First Day of Classes for Most Campuses
Opposition is increasing rapidly to Yudof’s plans to take advantage of the state budget shortfall to restructure. Hundreds of faculty across the state have signed a letter calling for a walkout/teach-in about the crisis in education on the same day that UPTE members will strike, September 24. Yudof’s cuts dramatically affect the quality of education by cutting lecturers and TAs, and forcing faculty to take days off, while at the same time increasing fees by 9.3%, with rumors of a larger increase mid-year.

UPTE-CWA will combine our picketing with faculty, student and other staff activities at each campus in a unified day of action. Our strike will be more effective with joint message and solidarity from the entire campus community. We will pressure Yudof to bargain fairly with UPTE and also involve all campus constituencies in deciding how to tackle the budget shortfall.

Sign up now for picket duty with your local. UPTE will be paying strike benefits to all members present on the picket line and at the all-campus actions.

(2) 96% of Voters Have No Confidence in Yudof, Demand Removal
Staff and faculty from all campuses handed an overwhelming vote of “no confidence” to UC President Mark Yudof last week. The vote shows a repudiation of his handling of UC’s budget issues as well as his personal wage and perk package.

As we learn more about Yudof’s proposals, UC employees have seen it for what it is: an opportunistic initiative to downsize the “core” parts of the university that do not make revenue, with no consideration of their value to the citizens of California.

The overwhelming call for Yudof’s removal was in part driven by the specifics of his proposals. Yudof’s initial proposal of 4% or 8% furloughs or pay cuts for everyone -- despite the fact that 85% of UC employees do not depend on state funds -- caused outrage from researchers and medical centers which have money to pay raises for their staff. The latest proposals of no wage increases for anyone, even when there is millions in research grants and medical center profits, make no sense and only create further frustration with Yudof’s leadership.

This poor leadership combined with the corporate compensation package make Mark Yudof probably the least respected leader of UC ever.

(3) Research is Collateral Damage in Yudof’s Budget Cuts
Research grants all include raises for staff. When those raises are not distributed, the money must be spent anyway and goes to new computers, carpets, travel or other expenses. UC is withholding $11.5 million in grant-funded raises for the 8,500 researchers and techs who are not on state funds, in order to save $2.7 million for 1,500 state-funded employees.

Funds for raises included in grants withheld from employees cannot legally be used to offset the state budget shortfall. Research employees are collateral damage in Yudof’s budget plan.

UPTE has made proposals to delay pay increases for the state-funded positions to alleviate the budget crisis. UPTE has made proposals to implement furloughs to protect those jobs and UC has refused to even consider the proposal.

Research staff are already paid 20% to 30% under market rates. UC is insisting on additional years of no raises on top of pay cuts to make contributions to the pension plan. The already unsustainably high turnover of 30% annually will surely grow. How can UC expect to retain its stature as the world’s preeminent research institution if it cannot retain quality researchers?

(4) Latest Information On Yudof’s Furloughs, Layoffs and Reorganization
Temporary layoff: This last week, UPTE intercepted an email with the latest scheme Yudof may employ to evade his legal obligation to bargain with unions over furloughs. The email claims that UC will issue a temporary layoff to unionized employees currently in bargaining. UPTE has successfully argued with the labor board to issue an unfair labor practice complaint for this kind of tactic in the past. Please contact UPTE immediately if you receive or are threatened with any kind of temporary layoffs. If UC actually carries through on this plan, we will file an unfair labor practice immediately.

Furloughs: UPTE TX and RX will not have their pay reduced or be forced on furloughs as is happening to non-unionized employees. The UPTE bargaining team made a proposal to UC for limited furloughs in return for protection from layoffs, but UC declined and demanded a blank check to do both.

Holiday closure: UC must bargain any new holiday closures with UPTE. Even under UC’s proposed closure, TX and RX employees will be able to use vacation and comp time to cover days off, where as non-union employees will have their pay reduced on a monthly basis. UPTE has legally challenged holiday closures in the past for which the PERB (the labor board) issued a complaint.

Layoffs: UC must bargain any layoffs where it is moving the work to non-UC or non-union employees. UPTE will demand to bargain any layoffs, and will file unfair labor practices to challenge any implementation without UPTE’s agreement.

HX: UC has threatened similar tactics with HX employees including layoffs. Less than 1% of HX employees are state-funded. The threats of general layoffs are just that, threats. Yudof is seeking bully unions into accepting furloughs. The only areas with significant layoffs in the HX units are state programs where UC is the contractor for a program axed by Schwarzenegger. These include the Poison Control Center and programs working with the prison system.

The UPTE E-Bulletin is prepared by UPTE-CWA President Jelger Kalmijn. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to write him at president@upte-cwa.org.

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