UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: March 01, 2011
(1) HX Members Vote To Extend Contract
(2) Defend Public Education on March 2
(3) Skilled Trades at LLNL Achieve Tentative Agreement for New Contract   
(1) HX Members Vote To Extend Contract
On a close vote with 57% in favor, health care professional (HX) members voted to extend the current contract for an additional 6 months. The extension means that HX unit members will pay the 1.5% pension contribution starting July 1. To offset this pay cut, HX employees will receive a 1% raise retroactive to December 1, 2010, and a 2% step increase or lump sum payment for those at the top of their pay scales, which will go into effect July 1, 2011.

In addition, UPTE retains the right to a third party review for equity increases proposed by UC so that we can advocate for fairer pay for all, from new hires to long-term employees. See our website for details. We will commence negotiations for a new contract in the fall.

While UPTE’s bargaining conference and systemwide executive board had encouraged a vote to not extend the contract, members were concerned about our ability to bargain for more pay increases in these difficult economic times. Even though the UC hospitals continue to make generous profits, the nationwide attack on pensions and public employees caused concern for our members.

It will be crucial for us to work together with AFSCME and CNA as UC tries to force the creation of 2nd and possibly even a 3rd tier for the pension plan. A positive outcome will be more difficult now that HX has accepted the 1.5% pension contribution for this year, but we will nevertheless support on-going AFSCME and CNA bargaining, beginning with joint demonstrations at the medical centers on Wednesday, March 16.

(2) Defend Public Education on March 2
As part of the widening public outcry to support public education and public services, UPTE-CWA and other unions have endorsed a nationwide day of action. Please check our website for an action close to you and show your support. Our future as well as that of our children depends on it.

(3) Skilled Trades at Lawrence Livermore National Lab Achieve Tentative Agreement for New Contract
The UPTE-CWA members at Lawrence Livermore National Lab will vote on ratification for a new 3 year contract. Despite the fact that the Department of Energy applied the 2-year federal wage freeze to the national labs, we were able to win a 1.5% lump sum payment for each year, in addition to a minimum 2% wage increase the third year. The union has also won greater rights to career employment in a position at the lab. Details of the agreement will be released after the results of the ratification vote.

UPTE’s Jeff Colvin gave compelling evidence in a National Academy of Sciences study about how privatization of the labs has resulted in a large increase in overhead costs, executive compensation, the number of executives. This growth in management has come at the cost of employee recruitment and retention, and most importantly, the creativity and productivity of the scientific mission.

We call on the committee to gather much of the detailed information not available to the public to demonstrate the full extent to which privatization has shifted resources from the scientific endeavor of the labs to executive compensation and private profit.

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.

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