UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: December 15, 2009
(1) Post-Docs Joining With Techs and Researchers to Protest UC Not Distributing Record Research Revenue
(2) Temporary Layoff Concerns
(3) Health Care Professionals Move From Petition to Discussing Strike
(1) Post-Docs Joining With TX/RX to Protest UC Not Distributing Record Research Revenue
Today, Tuesday, December 15, post-docs (represented by the UAW-CWA) and researchers (represented by UPTE) will jointly hold informational pickets and press events highlighting the record level of federal grant funding that UC is receiving. Despite this increased revenue, the university is proposing no raises for either post-docs or researchers. UC’s comprehensive proposal to UPTE adds up to a pay cut of about $200 per month after pension contributions and health benefits premium and parking rate increases are add in.

Quality research remains threatened, as staff paid 20% under market rates continue to leave despite the poor economy. The university can move researchers toward pay equity by simply distributing the money it has already received for raises and benefits.

(2) Temporary Layoffs Concerns
UPTE-CWA has legally challenged the decision the issue temporary layoffs at some departments on some campuses. The state’s Public Employment Relations Board, which governs our bargaining, has issued a complaint stating UC violated its obligation to bargain the impact of the budget on UPTE members.

While these actions are illegal, UC may proceed with some temporary layoffs knowing that the legal process will take time. Some UC administrators have threatened UPTE-CWA members with numerous days off unpaid in a single month if they do not take START (UC’s voluntary reduction-in-time program).

UPTE protests these coercive and illegal practices. While each individual member will have to make the decisions that work best for them, we want to work together to pressure supervisors, department and campus policy makers to not follow UC Office of the President’s divisive and anti-worker legal tactics. When UC loses the legal challenge, departments and campuses will have to pay employees back wages with interest, not the administrators at UCOP who gave the advice.

The temporary layoffs form part of a larger anti-employee and anti-union framework emanating from Office of the President. UCOP’s refusal to seek reasonable and respectful solutions to budget and benefits challenges distracts us all from our work as public servants.

(3) Health Care Professionals Move From Petition to Discussing Strike
After refusing to even discuss equity increases at the bargaining table, UC announced that it wants to unilaterally implement 15% wage increases for Clinical Lab Scientists at the UC Los Angeles medical center. But UC does not get to pick and choose who it wants to give equity increases to; it must bargain this with the union. UPTE-CWA has proposed equity increases, longevity increases and internal equity for many other deserving job titles. UPTE will file an unfair labor practice charge against UC for refusing to bargain.

The state economic crisis has not impacted the medical centers. The UC medical centers made $400 million in profit last year (that amounts to a 6.4% increase) and can afford to pay fair wages for critical and dedicated staff.

The equity increase for at UCLA came after members expressed support for strike action. We are following up on the petitions and discussions that we have recently held with medical center CEOs and chancellors with a broad discussion among our membership about a strike. Please sign the strike pledge if you object to a 0% wage increase, pay cuts to fund the pension plan and erosion of our retirement benefits.

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.