UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: September 25, 2013
(1) Welcome UC President Napolitano: Ask Her to Support a Secure Retirement and
Reasonable Rais
(2) TX/RX Strike Vote
(3) TX/RX/HX Strike Pledges NOW!
(4) Health Benefits Changes at UC
(1) Welcome UC President Napolitano:
Ask Her to Support  a Secure Retirement and Reasonable Raise

On October 1, we’ll have a new UC president: Janet Napolitano. Let’s start off on the right course, encouraging her to have a positive relationship with unions. The first major test will be if she considers the unions’ offer to pay for members to remain on a single retirement tier and fair wage, or prefers a long, drawn out fight with the three most active unions at UC: UPTE-CWA, CNA, and AFSCME.

We need to impress on President Napolitano how serious the unions are about our settlement offer. Sign this welcome letter that we will deliver on October 1. Let President Napolitano know your commitment to UC and a fair contract settlement.

(2) TX/RX Strike Vote

UPTE-CWA will conduct a strike authorization vote for researchers and techs (TX/RX) the week of October 14. After nearly a year of negotiations, UC has yet to make any serious pay or retirement offers to our bargaining team. The convincing and heartfelt presentations of hundreds of members during bargaining sessions around the state have not convinced UC to move away from their plan to push back pension benefits by 5 years and retiree health benefits by 15 years.

The polling locations for the strike vote are posted on the UPTE website and will be distributed on fliers across the state. A strike authorization enables the UPTE-CWA leadership to call a strike at the appropriate time and duration, given the legal process and membership activism.

(3) TX/RX/HX Strike Pledges NOW!
The choice between UC’s and UPTE’s proposals is stark. UPTE has put a plan on the table for modest raises and an additional contribution to secure equal retirement for all. UC counters with no raises and second class retirement benefits.

UC needs to know union members stand behind our team. We all need to know we can count on each other if we are forced to call for a strike. Please sign a strike pledge card NOW to make your support crystal clear.

We are engaging in many strategies to pressure UC to settle a fair contract, but member determination means the most to UC. The executives in the UC Office of the President need to know that while we are dedicated workers, we will continue to push for our bargaining demands until we get a fair resolution.

Don't wait to sign the strike pledge. Sign now. Get your co-workers to sign now.

(4) Health Benefits Changes at UC
UC has announced major changes to the health benefits for 2014, completely eliminating Health Net and the Anthem Blue Cross plans. While Health Net Blue and Gold will remain, those with health care providers not covered by Blue and Gold will have to change their provider or, in all likelihood, pay much more. UPTE-CWA and CNA complained to the university that these changes would cause undue hardship on members with special health care needs which cannot be met by Blue and Gold providers.

A new UC Care program is the university’s replacement for Anthem Blue Cross PLUS. It will offer a combination of HMO and PPO benefits at UC facilities as well as at locations where there is no UC medical center. This plan includes a "preferred provider option" and "point of service" option, both of which will require a cost sharing of a percentage of the health care bill. In certain cases, this cost-sharing will fall more on the employee than it did under the previous plan.

UC has not yet announced the premiums they wish to impose for the new plans.
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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