UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: February 19, 2010
TX/RX Contract Tentative Agreement!
(1) TX/RX Contract Tentative Agreement Will Go To Members For Vote 
(2) State Legislature Approves Union Request To Audit UC
(3) HX Strike Effort Makes Progress At All Medical Centers
(1) TX/RX Contract Tentative Agreement Will Go To Members For Vote
Late last night our mobilization efforts, legislative pressure, legal efforts, media campaign and perseverance at the researcher/tech (RX/TX) bargaining table finally paid off with a tentative contract agreement.

Here is a summary of the tentative agreement, which would be in effect through June 30, 2013. The agreement contains 14.5% raises over the next three years (4.5%, 5% and 5%), as well as a $1,000 lump sum payment this July to make up for the lack of a raise in 2009/10. It includes a $1.7 million (0.5%) equity pool to be distributed among various titles determined to have major market inequities. UPTE-CWA-represented researchers and techs will make contributions to the UC pension plan, including the re-direct of the 2% Defined Contribution Plan payment this year, while UC would contribute 4% this year. An additional 1% employee contribution starts in 2011 and 2012, which UC must match or exceed. There are defined limits on how much health benefits and parking can increase. None of the wage agreement is dependent on state funding of UC.

All TX/RX who have received notices of temporary layoffs will be allowed to convert them to START program and START  will be extended through the end of the year. The contract exchanges our unfair labor practice against the temporary layoffs for the additional money in base-building raises detailed above. We will continue to oppose layoffs and time reductions where there are no real budgetary shortfalls. We will also continue to vigorously support the broad movement to support education funding and accountability at UC, starting with the jobs of our members who provide student services.

The contract includes a new health and safety committee with access to information about problems in the workplace and stewarding time to find solutions. We will dedicate the new contract language to the memory of UCLA researcher Sheri Sangji, who tragically died last year in a preventable laboratory accident.

The tentative agreement must be ratified by members to take effect. Complete details of the contract will be presented to UPTE members during the ratification vote. Any RX/TX employees who are not yet UPTE members can join during the voting process. A notice of the vote will be sent out next week with a summary of the contract.

(2) State Legislature Approves Union Request To Audit UC
UPTE-CWA and other UC unions worked with Senator Leland Yee to request an audit of UC. The audit focuses on how the overhead and wage money in grants is spent, the money UC makes from its auxiliary enterprises and the financing of student fees.

UPTE-CWA president Jelger Kalmijn testified about how researchers would make $6112 more annually if we had gotten the 3% escalators in our grants over the last 9 years. He also presented the case for how research gets less institutional support for the overhead money that UC receives.

The Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved the audit unanimously. The audit will be performed by state auditors and take approximately 10 months to complete.

(3) HX Strike Effort Makes Progress At All Medical Centers
UPTE-CWA health care professional (HX) members across the state are signing strike pledge cards at department meetings and even on the web. Incensed by executive bonuses at the medical centers averaging over $80,000 per person, members are insisting on fair pay increases and market equities.

With the settlement of the TX/RX contract, UPTE-CWA will focus on efforts on wrapping up this contract as well.We want to hear your input. Participate in the UPTE member forum for more dialog on UPTE issues.
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.