March 29, 2017
(1) Trump’s assault on science … Join the March for Science

The Trump administration wants to dramatically slash funding to science, research and the arts:

  • 18% cut to NIH, National Institutes for Health
  • 31% cut to EPA, Environmental Protection Agency
  • 20% cut to Department of Science at DOE, Department of Energy
  • Eliminate $73 million Sea Grant program at NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • 100% cut to NEH, National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Cuts to NSF, National Science Foundation
  • Cuts to FDA, Food and Drug Administration
From cancer research to earth science, the Trump budget will undermine our ability to make scientific progress. These cuts come despite increasing challenges to our public health and the environment.

Trump has belittled climate science as a “hoax” invented by “tree-huggers.” Even before taking office, his transition team started a witch hunt of climate scientists at the Department of Energy. His statements and policies consistently undermine the integrity and progress of science.

Join the March for Science in your city on April 22 (Earth Day). UPTE is organizing contingents across the state to voice our opposition to the draconian cuts to science. Download UPTE’s flyer or poster to give to coworkers or post at your desk!
March for Science

(2) Teamsters’ tentative agreement with UC gives in; UPTE and other unions stand firm
While the Teamsters, representing UC’s clerical employees, gave up their opposition to a new pension tier in a recent tentative agreement, the other UC unions that defeated management’s 2013 pension cuts have reaffirmed their unwavering opposition to such pension changes.

UPTE (representing techs, researchers and health care professionals), CNA (representing nurses), and AFSCME (representing service, patient care technical) all bargain this year and will stand united against UC’s efforts to undermine our pension.

We count on our pensions to fund our retirement. The 401(k) type retirement savings plan that UC wants rarely provides sufficient funds to retire for those on it. Worse yet, UC management wants to allow new hires to opt of the pension, which undermines the financial viability of the plan for everyone else.

The Teamster agreement includes guaranteed raises for 5 years and limits increases to health care insurance. The agreement also wins some important union rights such as access to members in the workplace. Clerical workers still have to vote on the agreement to ratify it.

(3) Health care victory … now for a real solution
Congratulations! Our calls and demands to halt the repeal of the Affordable Care Act prevailed. At least for now, the 24 million slated to lose their health care insurance will keep their health care. The Trump administration has threatened to undermine the ACA to make financially unviable. We will have to speak up again as that happens.

In the meantime, we have the opportunity to win real and affordable health care for all in California. In the US, we spend more on health care and with worse health outcomes than any other advanced nation in the world. A “Medicare For All” system would provide health care for everyone at controlled costs. Insurance company profits are re-directed to medical care. Health provider profits are controlled. Your health care no longer depends on your job because everyone is covered, always. Various taxes fund the system at a greatly reduced cost compared to the insurance premiums and health care costs we currently pay.

You can call your state senator and encourage them to vote for real health care reform.

(4) UCSF IT off-shoring exposed in 60 Minutes Special
In a dubious effort to cut costs, UCSF management and UC president Janet Napolitano laid off nearly 100 workers, outsourced their jobs to an India-based multinational, and told them to train their replacements. The news analysis program 60 Minutes aired an investigation into this and other abuses of H1B visas.

In response to this off shoring, UPTE has submitted AB 848 with Assemblymember McCarty that will stop this off-shoring in the future. Contact the UPTE IT Organizing Committee to help us pass this bill.

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.