After a week of voting at locations across the state, the results are counted: 92% in favor of strike authorization. The University's insistence on creating a second class of workers with lesser retirement benefits at the same time as demanding a net pay cut, angered members to vote for striking.
The vote now makes it possible for UPTE TX/RX to go out on sympathy strike with other bargaining units such as UPTE HX and CNA. We can also engage in unfair labor practice strikes. Economic strikes for TX/RX will have to wait until this bargaining has gone through the impasse process.
Despite the fact that UC has yet to bargain a single day in good faith at any table for any union in this round of negotiations, they will petition the state (PERB, Public Employees Relations Board) shortly for impasse. PERB will most likely grant the impasse request over our objection. After the impasse process is completed, UC can impose their last, best, final offer. We can always undo any imposed conditions through a legal challenge and then we get our day in court to prove UC's bad faith. In the mean time, we will push for a fair contract backed by the threat of a strong strike.
We are currently pressuring UC President Napolitano to change the course of her predecessor and bargain in earnest with unions. Our leadership will hold off on calling a strike until we get a clear signal that Napolitano has opted to continue with Yudof's union-busting path to dismantle the excellence of UC.
Everyone who has not yet done so should sign a strike pledge so that we have an accurate assessment of our strike strength. We all need to commit to standing together.
From the three Department of Energy labs run by the University of California to researchers on federal National Institute of Health Grants, the federal shutdown caused great consternation and uncertainty. The Livermore and Los Alamos Labs were on the verge of near complete shutdown and furlough the eve that congress finally passed a continuing resolution re-opening the government. If the shutdown had gone on into the next week our members would have gone without pay and no promise of reimbursement because they do not work directly for the federal government.
Our skilled trades members at Livermore won creative work schedules that would have kept most of them working at a reduced level in order to not lose benefits but the financial hardship would have been extreme for many still reeling from the housing crisis in the area.
UPTE-CWA legislative activists will pressure laboratory management and policy makers to make contingency plans for future possible shutdowns as early as January. The gridlock created by legislators willing to stop all government business for the sake of undermining the Affordable Care Act should not mean our members go without pay.
November 1 UPTE-CWA and the California Nurses (CNA) will host informational tables about potential strikes. HX members will be asked to come by the table before and after their shifts between 6am and 9am.
Refreshments and "Unity Day" stickers will be distributed. We want to make a strong show of mutual commitment to winning "fair pay and retirement security for all". Plan to come in early or leave late, depending on your shift.
Last issue's winner was Valentina Puchkarev of .