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UPTE administrative professionals turn in petitions, meet with management on wage equity issues

UC’s “Rule of 50” – which brought half of non-union-represented employees under a dramatically inferior retiree health program – has fallen. UC created the rule as part of its pension plan changes for 2013.

UPTE-CWA and other unions negotiated an end to the rule in their 2013 contract talks. But unrepresented employees, such as administrative professionals (APs), were still facing its implementation. Facing outrage from those employees and knowing it had lost on the issue with several unions, the Office of the President finally threw in the towel and announced in late May that it would repealed the Rule of 50 for everyone.

From left, UPTE members Saul Kanowitz, Emily Montan, Keith Pavlik and Robert Wilson presenting two UCOP labor relations staff with wage petitions from APs. (Lisa Kermish, photo)

UC’s 15,000 administrative professionals (APs) work in a wide range of jobs, from programmers and administrative specialists, to student academic advisors, library professionals and counselors.

This means that those employees who were previously moved to the new 2013 eligibility rules because they were not vested in UCRP on June 30, 2013, or because their age plus years of service was less than 50 at that time, will no longer be subject to the eligibility rules for retiree health benefits that went into effect on July 1, 2013.

Thanks to the hundreds of employees who signed petitions and wrote letters objecting to this change. And a huge shout-out to the unions – including UPTE’s health care professionals, techs and reseachers – who held the line in negotiations to preserve these benefits. UCOP would not have repealed the rule without the unions’ fightback.

AP now petition for wages

APs organizing with UPTE-CWA have also been signing petitions to UC president Janet Napolitano urging a fair pay increase. While UC gave “overall” increase of 3% this year, that will be reduced by half due to additional required pension contributions. 

“We were willing to do our part when UC’s budget was cut, but Proposition 30 has restored some of the funds, California revenues are increasing, and UC’s future appears brighter,” the petition from APs reads.

“Unionized employees have negotiated raises that guarantee steady, reasonable pay increases for the next few years,” it continues. “We deserve the same. We urge you to increase funding for pay increases for professional staff at UC. We work hard in support of the University’s missions and deserve to be compensated fairly.”

Napolitano announced in spring that APs would receive an average increase of 3% for 2014-15, but any pay raise will be reduced at least by half (1.5%) for an additional pension contribution, to take effect July 1, 2014, the same date as the increase.

For 7 of the last 13 years, workers without a union received 0% pay increases. Over the last 8 years, UCOP allocated a cumulative target figure of 9% for increases, and then took 3% for pension contributions and 4-7% for one year’s furloughs. What does that add up to? Zilch!

Unionized employees have done much better, negotiating healthy pay increases for the next 3 years. If you are an AP and haven’t yet signed the petition, check out www.apsforupte.org/petition.




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