UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: June 07, 2010
(1) HX Vote for Strike Authorization and CNA Strike  
(2) Benefits on the Chopping Block
(3) Vote for Delegates to CWA National Convention
(1) HX Vote for Strike Authorization and CNA Strike
Eighty-nine percent of UPTE-CWA’s health care professional (HX) members have voted in favor of strike authorization. Executive bonuses at the UC medical centers averaging more than $80,000 and more than $430 million in profit compared to the cut in total compensation demanded from HX members were significant factors. Immediately following the vote results, UPTE filed for impasse with the state’s labor board (PERB) as the first step towards a strike.

UC’s has demanded a 2% contribution to the pension plan retroactive to 4/15/2010. This money would come from the 2% Defined Contribution retirement savings we are currently obligated to make. For the two years that these negotiations cover (FY09/10 and FY10/11), UC has offered only 1.5% in raises and one year of steps for those that are eligible. In recognition that this raise does not even keep pace with the cost of living, let along the market rates of pay, UC has already sought to by-pass negotiations by offering equity increases at several medical centers.

The lack of fair wage increases, combined with increased cost for pensions, makes recruitment and retention of new HX staff difficult. When UC lags behind the market in pay rates, staff that are not yet heavily vested in the pension plan leave. Patient care will suffer at the UC medical centers as it becomes more and more difficult to fill critical positions.

If PERB agrees to UPTE’s impasse request, the next step in negotiation will be mediation. UPTE’s bargaining team is hopeful that the assistance of an outside mediator will encourage UC to come to fair contract resolution quickly.

At the same time, the nurses (represented by the California Nurses Association) face the same obstinate management stance as UC focuses on expense lawyers to bust the union than on settling a fair contract. CNA has called for a strike on June 10. UPTE-CWA encourages all members to participate in CNA strike activities on their non-work times.

(2) Benefits on the Chopping Block
UC administrators have embarked on a statewide tour to sell major reductions of our benefits package. In particular, they are considering major reductions in retiree benefits and multi-tier pension plans.

UPTE-CWA has prepared a summary of these cuts and what we can do about them, which it is presenting at local “benefits forums” around the state. If you missed the presentations, you can now see our benefits power point presentation online.

(3) Vote for Delegates to CWA’s National Convention
Ballots are going out this week for an election for delegates from our union local (UPTE-CWA 9119) to our national union convention. All members are strongly encouraged to mark their choices for delegates and send in the pre-paid business reply mailer.

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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