UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: November 10, 2010

Take action now on Health Benefits & Support for UPTE Chief Bargainer Kevin Rooney


(1) Health Benefits: UC Pulls Out of Bargaining, Rates Will Remain Unchanged For Now  
(2) Protest at November Regents’ Meeting: Pension Changes and Student Fee Increases
(3) Support UPTE TX/RX Coordinator Kevin Rooney    

(1) Health Benefits: UC Pulls Out of Bargaining, Premiums Will Remain Unchanged For Now
Last week, UC canceled bargaining with UPTE on the health benefit increases and rejected UPTE’s demand to extend the open enrollment period. On the upside, this means that UC will not be able to impose the new Health Net rates for TX/RX employees until we reach agreement. Read this information carefully and make the best choice for your situation.

At our bargaining conference this weekend, UPTE elected a bargaining team to negotiate the health insurance rates and any pension issues that arise next year. We took positions firmly against the 2-tier pension contributions and increase in retirement age proposed by UC president Mark Yudof. The delegates re-affirmed our commitment to make retiree health benefits a vested and affordable benefit. We will go through the collective bargaining process with UC on all these issues.

So what do you do now? First, visit UPTE’s health benefits protest website to tell your story about how the premium cost increases will affect you.

If you are on Health Net and your provider is included in Health Net Blue and Gold, switch to Blue and Gold. You will have to reselect your providers on UC’s atyourservice website (the process is awkward).

If you are one of the TX/RX people being forced with the unfair choice of switching health care providers or paying dramatically increased monthly premiums because your provider is not part of Blue and Gold, your premium will not go up until we conclude bargaining. We expect this bargaining may go well into next year because UC is already refusing to provide us with critical information we require. UC will most likely not be able to impose any retroactive premium increases. In bargaining, UPTE will fight for a lower increase than what UC has proposed. UPTE will also argue for a second open enrollment period once negotiations conclude.

Those on Health Net who do not have the contract protection of the TX/RX contract, your rates will go up if you do not switch. Lodge your protest with these unfair increases. UPTE will continue to fight for contracts that provide all our members with quality, affordable health care.

(2) Protest at November Regents’ Meeting: Pension Changes and Fee Increases
UPTE, along with the Coalition of UC Unions, will converge on the regents’ meeting next Wednesday, November 17 to protest Yudof’s proposal for a 2-tier pension plan and additional student fee increases. Join us by getting on the bus in Berkeley or showing up at the protest at the UC San Francisco Mission Bay Campus. The regents will be setting the parameters that UC bargainers present to us when we bargain our pensions in the next couple months. They need to hear our displeasure now. Additional events are being organized in Southern California, as well as an email protest that will go out soon.

(3) Support UPTE TX/RX Coordinator Kevin Rooney
If you have not yet lodged your support for UPTE’s Kevin Rooney, please do so right away at our website. Take a few minutes to support a union member who is so dedicated to working for all
of us.

We want to hear your input. Participate in the UPTE member forum for more dialogue 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.

UPTE-CWA on Facebook