UPTE-CWA E-Bulletin: February 01, 2016
Bernie can win in Nevada with your help

In Iowa, Bernie Sanders is polling neck-and-neck in the Democratic presidential primary with Hillary Clinton, and he enjoys a large lead in New Hampshire. The February 20 Nevada Caucus will be the next test.

CWA and UPTE-CWA have endorsed Sanders and we will help him build momentum to win in Nevada.

Please join us: come out to Reno on February 6 or Las Vegas on February 13!

We will be coordinating one day out-and-back trips, leaving early and coming back late on each Saturday. Participants will attend a rally for Sanders (he probably won’t be there) and then walk precincts to encourage voters to caucus for Sanders.

Sign up
to participate (all costs will be covered).

UC proposes plan that will undermine pension for all

Over the objections of the union participant, the task force appointed by UC President Napolitano has recommended two possible changes to our pension plan that will cost more and provide less.

The first change caps the income that new hires can use to qualify for pension at $117,020. That’s the same level set by Governor Jerry Brown for state workers. The governor insisted on this reform as a condition for paying the state’s portion of the pension obligation. This change would affect more than 1,000 UPTE-CWA members, mainly in our health care professionals unit. UC will supplement the lost pension amount with a 401k contribution.

The second change allows new employees to opt out of the pension plan altogether. You don’t need an accountant to understand that as soon as some employees opt out, the plan will start down a slippery slope. As soon as a sufficient number of employees do not enjoy the benefits of a pension, the university will start to force those fortunate few left to pay more of their salary to sustain the pension benefit. This second change was not asked for by the governor, but is an opportunistic addition by UC.

In UC’s own summary, execs admit setting up a separate 401k-style plan will actually cost more. The only savings come decades down the road by short changing the retirement options for new hires.

Flight attendants need a break … for our sake

Our national union, CWA, includes flight attendants, who get as little as 8 hours of non-work time between shifts. The 8 hours must include getting out of the airport, eating, and resting. That means many go back to work with less than 6 hours sleep. Their union wants a minimum of 10 hours between shifts so that we all can fly safely with alert and rested flight attendants.

Sign a petition to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) supporting the “Fight for 10” as Congress considers re-authorizing funding for the agency. In the space for “airline,” fill-in “United” as that is where most CWA members work.

Dues increase for some  
UPTE has a dues rate of 1.3% of our income. Over the past decade we have been transitioning from a regressive flat dues rate to progressive percentage dues rate. Each year that we win more than a 2% raise, we increase the cap on our dues by $5 per month. As of January 1, our cap has gone to $70 per month for the campus and $60 for LBL. Members not covered by a contract keep the cap of $22 per month. This only affects members making more than $60,000. Others are already paying the 1.3%.
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.