RX/TX Bargaining Report #4
UC San Diego (February 4-6, 2013) 

Negotiations for the TX and RX units took place on the UC San Diego campus on February 4th, 5th and 6th at Price Center West. More contract language proposals were passed back and forth. The university's chief negotiator continued to try to rush the process and push us to submit proposals without doing due diligence to make sure the contract language is the best we can make it for our members. This hard working bargaining team doesn’t take our responsibilities lightly in trying to hammer out the best contract we can get for the members we represent. The process takes time as we jointly discuss, research, draft and then finalize language for each proposal before it gets submitted to UC. Frankly, we are a little confused as why UC feels we are moving slowly when the contract doesn’t expire until June 30th and we are meeting regularly every other week or so.

On Tuesday the 5th we received a presentation from UC's post-retirement benefits expert about the proposed pension and retiree healthcare changes. The university's position regarding the necessity for the changes was laid out. Our bargaining team asked many pertinent and important questions concerning details of the proposal. UC’s “expert” on the 2013 PEB was unable to answer many of our questions.

On Wednesday the 6th a number of UCSD members came and gave statements. One member discussed the dangerous lack of building maintenance in her facility. She stated a recent electrical outage, when even the backup generator didn’t work, may have compromised blood samples used in critical cancer research. This member also discussed how she and others would have their ability to commute to work impacted by changes in shuttle services and parking availability. Other members expressed their concerns with the changes with the retiree healthcare coverage and the pension, both on their own behalf and that of their coworkers. They felt that by having some UC employees work longer to get the same benefit is unfair and unworkable. More than one member discussed how they would not be able to wait until 65 to retire due to the physically demanding nature of their jobs. Concerns were also expressed about how the pension fund is being handled. It was mentioned how pension funds that have joint governance do better than ones like the UCRP. Several members mentioned that the benefits were an important part of their decision to work for UC instead of for private industry where they could have been paid more. They had decided to work for UC based on one healthcare program and now are learning that they are being moved to different, lesser retirement benefit.

The team is returning to Northern California for the next round of bargaining, with talks being held in San Francisco at the Mission Bay Campus on February 21st and at UCOP on February 22nd. Members are encouraged to come observe the process or make a presentation. If you have any questions about the process or coming to a bargaining session feel free to contact our chief bargainer or your campuses bargaining team member(s).

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
Jimmy Leo-Castillo, Principal Electronics Technician (TX), 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
Erik Kovacs, Principle Telescope Technician (TX), Santa Cruz