RX/TX Bargaining Report #1
January 14, 2011

UPTE Health Care and Pension Bargaining Team had its first session with UCOP (University Office of the President) in Oakland on January 12 & 13, 2011.

Health care premiums were discussed with UCOP’s bargaining team in a two-day session. The focus of these bargaining sessions is to address the enormous 2011 premium increase for some of the health care insurers, especially the Health Net HMO. We also want to address the exclusion of 65% of the Health Net providers in the Blue & Gold options, especially for Northern California members with medical groups such as Sutter Medical. UPTE employees in Payband 1 were faced with very difficult and serious decisions in choosing health care for 2011 as they faced proportionally much higher increases than the other three Paybands. We intend to bargain with UC over these outrageous changes.

The University insists that imposing these large monetary increases is necessary and fair. It is apparent to UPTE that the University has failed to take into account the significant burden placed on UPTE members, particularly, those in Payband 1. Parity across UPTE’s employees in Payband 1 (< $47,000/yr) versus UC’s highest paid employees earning >$150,000/yr are not subjected to percentage increases for health care premiums in an equitable manner.

UPTE continues to respond to all members’ past, present and future input. Every member is encouraged to contact a campus representative or one of the bargaining team members regarding hardships and concerns over the 2011 health care options. We need people to speak up and speak out at our next bargaining session on the health care benefit issue. We need folks to come to the bargaining table and tell UC the effect that the increased cost of maintaining your regular Health Net provider has had on you and your family or what it means to have to leave your provider because Blue & Gold does not carry them. We need to hear from you soon.

The next bargaining session will be over pensions—it will take place at the UCOP offices on January 26 and 27th. The next bargaining session on health care will be on Wednesday, February 9th.  Please feel free to contact any of the bargainers with any questions or suggestions you have, or if you are willing to come to a bargaining session to make a presentation regarding health care benefits or the pension issues.

Bargaining Team Members:
Wendi Felson, Chief Negotiator
Anthony Fernandez, Radiation Safety Technician, LBNL
Karen Galbreath, Animal Health Technician, UCD  
Bryan Pettengill, Computer Resource Specialist, UCSD 
Yvette Piceno, Staff Research Associate, LBNL