RX/TX Bargaining Report #3
UC Davis (January 24 – 25, 2013) 

Negotiations for the TX and RX units took place on the UC Davis campus on January 24th and 25th at the Memorial Union. On the first day many members came to give heartfelt presentations at the bargaining table. The issues ranged from parking fees to unsafe work conditions. A Microscope Technician spoke about the need for a second job because the UC wags were too low to support his two kids in college. Local UPTE president and TX member, Edgardo Vasquez, spoke of a recent incident in which members were exposed to extremely high temperatures at work. When solutions by the workers were presented to management they were told UC doesn’t have the money. A Computer Resources Specialist spoke of the lack of training and educational leave being provided by UC. A young single mother spoke to the lack of a family friendly work environment when she can’t doesn’t have time to drop her child off when day care opens and get to work on time because UC won’t provide her with a flexible schedule. A Principal Animal Tech discussed the lack of career ladder and recognition by UC for those who work hard, take extra responsibilities at work, and take extra courses and get additional certification. While at UC he isn’t valued for his extra efforts; he could go elsewhere and make $10,000/year more.

A Staff Research Associate discussed her opposition to the reduced retiree health care plan being proposed by UC. This SRA will miss being on the current plan by 28 days and views the 2-tier pension and reduced retiree healthcare proposals as a race to bottom by UC and not necessary.

One of the bargaining team members also stated he will miss staying on the current retiree healthcare plan by 9 days! He stated he came to UC specifically for the healthcare benefits and could have made more money working elsewhere. Another member brought up the need for joint governance by both UC and workers on the pension board so that we have a say in the management of our retirement security.

UC’s chief negotiator raised laughs when she stated that the new lesser second tier is “exactly the same, but different.”  Later she stated the problem was that workers aren’t dying off fast enough for UC like the old days when people retired at 60 years and died at age 61!! Other misinformation was given out by UC regarding the pension, including stating UC will go bankrupt unless the 2 tier pension is implemented.  UPTE, along with our UC union coalition partners, AFSCME and CNA, believe we can keep one strong, financially healthy pension and have hired the actuaries to show us how it can be done.

The second day was spent passing new contract language proposals back and forth. One significant proposal by UC was to eliminate the current automatic reclass for SRA I’s to II’s. This would have a negative affect on SRA’s trying to make a career and living wage at UC. UPTE is not accepting of this change.  While at UC Davis, UTPE also added two new bargaining team members: Jimmy Leo-Castillo, TX, from UC San Diego and Erick Kovacs, TX, from UC Santa Cruz. We will soon have a bargaining representative from UC Irvine joining the team.

The next round of negotiations is scheduled at UCSF on February 21 and at the UCOP offices in Oakland on February 22nd. The bargaining rooms will be at Mission Bay on Thursday, the 21st.
If you would like more information, would like to attend, make a presentation, or submit your market equity data, please let one of the bargaining team members know. As always we encourage members to observe the process, make a presentation, or come to support our goal of a fair contract. Feel free to contact your chief negotiator or your campuses bargaining team member regarding bargaining issues.

Your bargaining team:
Wendi Felson, UCSF (ret.), Chief Negotiator
Jim Hockridge, Principle Television Technician (TX), Berkeley
Paul Brooks, Spectroscopist (RX), Berkeley
Karen Galbreath, Animal Health Technician (TX), Davis
Vanessa Bakula, Staff Research Associate (RX), Davis
Mike Dupray, Principal Radiation Control Technician (TX), LBNL
Mike Fehr, Computer Resource Specialist (TX), Los Angeles
Jie Luo, Staff Research Associate (RX), Los Angeles
Tonya Greene-Tucker, Clinical Research Coordinator (RX), San Diego
Paul Phojanakong, Laboratory Assistant (TX), San Francisco
Elisa Cleveland, Staff Research Associate (RX), San Francisco
Damion Miller, Principal Electronics Technician (TX), Santa Barbara