UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: September 28, 2009
(1) TX/RX Strike Together With Fantastic Turnout From Students And Faculty Start A New Movement
(2) UC Continues To Demand Pay Cuts For Grant-Funded And Illegal Layoffs For State- Funded Staff

(1) TX/RX Strike Together With Fantastic Turnout From Students And Faculty
Wow! With the UPTE-CWA strike as a catalyst staff, students and faculty made a massive and unified statement that they oppose the direction UC President Yudof is imposing on the University.

Check out a gallery of photos and news coverage from these historic actions that have already eclipsed previous movements since the free-speech actions in the 1960’s. We will see UC’s response to the unfair labor practice strike in bargaining over the coming weeks (see below for details). Meanwhile the faculty and student pressure will build up to the November Regents meeting in Los Angeles when they are scheduled to vote on the more than 30% fee increase for students.

UPTE-CWA will continue to participate in this coalition that opposes the re-direction of the University to profit for corporate California instead of the accessible, quality education and broader public service. Undergraduate education is the future of our research mission. Ensuring that the fruits of our research benefit all citizens and not just corporate investors is an ethical necessity that tax payers will demand.

While the large and somewhat spontaneous demonstrations were vehement but disciplined, there were some UC supervisors who threatened staff against participation in strike actions. If you in any way feel that you were threatened or experienced any negative consequences from your participation in this event, contact UPTE immediately so that we can take action.

(2) UC Demands Pay Cuts For Grant-Funded And Illegal Layoffs For State-Funded Staff
In negotiations on days prior to the strike, UC continued to insist on getting a waiver to implement 4% in employee contributions to the pension plan that the Regents have planned over the next 3 years. That is a 4% pay cut (2% of which will come out of your retirement savings DCP). In addition, UC wants the union to give them free reign to increase health care and parking costs. Combined with the proposal for no raises, even for grant-funded positions where there is money, this amounts to pay cuts.

UPTE has proposed to exchange an agreement for furloughs with a commitment to no layoffs for those furloughed. Instead of engaging in negotiations over this, UC continues to threaten to move forward with temporary layoffs for UPTE employees. UC will not be able to side-step their legal obligation to bargain with this legalistic sleight of hand.

What would a fair contract resolution look like?

  • Avoid layoffs where ever possible through furloughs, attrition, reserves
  • Provide raises where UC has the money, i.e. grant-funded and medical center staff
  • Balance out any pension contributions with raises
  • Limits to increases for health benefits and pension increases
  • Improved health and safety practices and committee focusing on prevention and training
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.

We want to hear your input. Participate in the UPTE member forum for more dialog on UPTE issues.