UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: May 05, 2010
(1) In Memory Of Pete Goodman, First UPTE-CWA President  
(2) HX Go Back to Bargaining with Strike Authorization Vote Coming Up
(3) Benefits Under Attack, Unions Push for Joint Governance
(1) In Memory of Pete Goodman, First UPTE-CWA President
For more than 70 years, Pete Goodman contributed to building a democratic and activist labor movement. He spent the last 20 years with UPTE-CWA. Even at the age of 89, he served on our union’s executive board offering political insight and analysis based on more than half a century of experience.

We are greatly saddened by his death on International Workers Day, May 1, 2010. Please read the union resolution in honor of Pete Goodman to learn more about this amazing activist.

(2) HX Go Back to Bargaining with Strike Authorization Vote Coming Up
UC has relented and agreed to return to the bargaining table, after seeing health care professionals (HX) signing pledges to go on strike over fair wages and possible pension and benefits takeaways.

UPTE’s HX bargaining team will meet with UC’s team in Oakland on May 12 and 13. They will be insisting on fair raises. After medical center executives received bonuses averaging more than $80,000, and the medical centers themselves are making hundreds of millions of dollars in profits, management has no excuse to not give health care professionals a fair raise to achieve market equity. If UC does not agree to a fair settlement, UPTE-CWA will file a motion to go to impasse with the labor board. In impasse, a neutral factfinder with hear the positions of UPTE-CWA and UC and issue a suggested resolution. If that resolution does not lead to a settlement, union members can go on strike and the university can impose a settlement.

In preparation for possible impasse, we will hold a strike authorization vote. If a majority of members vote to authorize a strike, UPTE’s leadership will be authorized to call a legal strike at the appropriate time. The strike will be a short-term strike.

(3) Benefits Under Attack, Unions Push for Joint Governance
At presentations around the state, UC benefits administrators have floated radical changes to our pension and benefits plans. UC is considering enticing new employees with a 401K style pension option that might appeal to those needing money now, but would greatly reduce the pension benefit and could further undermine the financial stability of the entire fund. In the same presentation, UC has made clear it aims to reduce the retiree health benefits by changing eligibility and shifting the cost to retirees.

UPTE-CWA has summarized the changes to benefits in a presentation being made at workplace meetings around the state. To arrange a meeting in your workplace, contact info@upte-cwa.org.

UPTE-CWA is working with other UC unions to insist that we obtain a say in what happens with our pension funds. The University of California Retirement Plan is one of the only public retirement funds that has no member governance. The two other major public pension funds in California, CalPERS and CalSTRS, have “joint governance” – that is, a board that includes a majority of plan participants and legislative appointments, in addition to management. Joint governance will improve transparency, accountability and profitability of the plan.

UC unions met with Regent nominee Charlene Zettel and UC administrators to argue for joint governance. Regent Zettel was noncommittal and insisted that pension and retiree health benefit changes would have to be implemented soon, with or without any governance change.

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.

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