University of California Violates Labor Law in Bargaining

The Higher Education Employer/Employee Relations Act requires the University to bargain in good faith. This means that they cannot:

  • Make changes such as wages, benefits, schedules without bargaining them
  • Refuse to meet with the union
  • Refuse to make substantive proposals (not necessarily ones we like)
  • Retaliate against UPTE members for participating in bargaining or mobilizing

For a more complete listing and description of unfair labor practices see our fact sheet

UPTE has filed unfair labor practice charges against UC to force them to bargain fairly so we can get the contract we deserve:

  1. UC Threats Of Temporary Layoffs Are a Pay Cut In Disguise
    (being filed week of 09/21/09)

    The temporary layoffs scheme is just a pay cut in disguise and UC cannot implement pay cuts while we are in status quo. While UPTE is negotiating with UC, the University must bargain all compensation and working conditions. This means we do not get raises until we get a contract, but it also means that UC administrators cannot cut our pay. UPTE has previously challenged a similar cut when campuses extended the holiday closure and was able to work out a favorable settlement. UPTE will request a temporary restraining order against this action because so many of our members cannot afford any cuts.
  1. UC Santa Cruz Targets UPTE Bargainer
    (being filed week of 09/21/09)

    Dieskau Reed’s unit received layoffs disproportionately larger than other units in his department. UC Santa Cruz is laying off 3 out of 7 of the computer resource specialists who manage the main frame computers that run all the critical functions of the Santa Cruz campus. They plan to move some of this work to higher paid departmental programmers. The same department never requested reimbursement for any of the time that Diekau Reed was at bargaining. While the budget shortfall in Santa Cruz is real, this particular cut is clearly politically motivated.

  1. UC President Yudof attempts to negotiate pay cuts, layoffs and furloughs directly with members and bypass union: Knowing our determined opposition to the unnecessary and harmful proposed cuts, Yudof put out emails and a YouTube video directly dealing with our members on how to impose his austerity plan. He directed the chancellors to hold town hall meetings and solicit input on which kind of cuts staff and faculty preferred. At the same he instructed his bargainers to pull the current wage offer off the table. This is a flagrant abuse of the bargaining process. Yudof must respect the fact that we have chosen to work together as a union. He cannot impose these cuts on unionized employees unilaterally or bypass the bargaining process. This charge was filed as an amendment to our previous charge about canceling bargaining session and refusal to make proposals.

  2. UC unilaterally changed health benefits rates for 100's: UC illegally and dramatically increased the health benefits premiums in January 2009 in two ways. First, UC reassessed what pay band employees are in and increased their premiums by as much as 50% if they moved from one pay band to the next. This usually occurred if your salary went from below $46,000/yr in 2007 to over $46,000 in 2008. Second, UC is falsely advertising what the rates are for the Blue Cross insurance costing many $100's in unexpected premium increases every month. UPTE demands that UC pay these premium increases back retroactively to when they began.

  3. Unilateral changes of parking and transportation rates: The University increased van pool rates and daily parking rates. It also made other changes on July 1, 2008, the day after our contract expired. UC is obligated to bargain about these changes.

  4. UC canceled many bargaining sessions and refused to offer proposals: UC canceled all or part of 4 bargaining sessions, moved our team around four times when bargaining in Merced and, worst of all, did not give a single counter proposal for ten months.

  5. Refusal to provide information about pension plan: This charge was originally filed during the pension bargaining two years ago and UC has still not provided key information that we require so that we can bargain fair pension contributions.
  1. Retaliation against UC Berkeley bargainer
    Paul Haller:
    The University retaliated against Paul Haller by laying him off because of the time he was spending in bargaining. The University refuses to set up a fund to pay for the time that bargainers are participating in negotiations, forcing the department or research lab to pay for the time they are not working. Paul Haller’s department complained about having to pay for his time spent bargaining. Paul has since found another job at UC Berkeley, but UPTE will pursue this unfair labor practice charge, so that future bargainers are not retaliated against because UC won’t set up a separate fund to pay for bargaining time.