UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: March 22, 2010
(1) TX/RX Contract Overwhelmingly Ratified  
(2) Nurses Take Strike Vote, HX To Join Them?
(3) March For Education From Bakersfield To Sacramento
(1) TX/RX Contract Overwhelmingly Ratified
With heavy voter turnout, 90% voted in favor of ratifying the TX/RX contract. More than 53% of the members came out to vote. Hundreds of new members signed up so they could vote.

This vote culminates a more than two year effort winning raises for the next 3 years independent of what happens with the state budget. The contract contains no open- ended waivers for increases to pension contributions, health benefits or parking. The members voting knew what they would be making through June 30, 2013 when the contract expires.

What made UC finally decide to offer a contract with fair wage increases? Many factors pressured UC including countless member actions including a statewide 1-day strike last September and two additional strikes at the Berkeley campus, media advertising, legal challenges to UC’s implementation of budget cuts, legislative support and pressure on UC to obtain pension contributions.

Next we will move to implement and enforce our new contract. New health and safety provisions give UPTE health and safety stewards time to work on prevention and training as well as access to information about current problems. UPTE’s team on equity will meet soon with UC to decide on how to divide up the $1.7 million set aside for equity increases. UPTE will appoint members to the layoff/re-employment committee that the contract establishes.

Our broader struggle to preserve public education and many of our jobs will continue as the state considers additional budget cuts and UC prioritizes commercial ventures over public education and service (see note 3 below).

(2) Nurses Vote For Strike Authorization, HX To Join Them?
Nurses with the California Nurses Association all across UC voted to strike for safe staffing levels and fair raises. Just like for our HX members, UC has refused to participate meaningfully in negotiations. Instead of working out a contract, UC hired expensive, notoriously anti-union lawyers to bargain with the nurses. This is the first time that UC has hired outsiders to negotiate a contract.

UPTE-CWA health care professionals who have not yet done so, should sign our strike pledge immediately so that we can call a strike authorization vote to coordinate with CNA. UC has refused to offer any raises despite rewarding the medical center executives with bonuses of over $80,000 on average.

(3) March For Education From Bakersfield To Sacramento
Teachers and other education workers started marching in Bakersfield on March 5, the day after the statewide actions to defend for public education. They will end up at the state capitol in Sacramento on April 21 to deliver a message to not implement further cuts to education.

UPTE members will be joining the marchers in Merced, Sacramento and elsewhere along the march. Rather than fighting over the crumbs of the state budget, we are working together with all of public education and other social services for a fair budget process that does not gut what is most valuable to our civil society, schools, health care for children, care for our elderly, and other social services.

If you have not yet signed the ballot initiative for majority rule, please sign today.

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.