August UPTE Update: Convention Report & Climate Change Survey Reminder
Over 100 UPTE members who were elected as delegates met in Oakland last weekend to discuss how to strengthen our Union in preparation for contract fights at all of our employers in 2024, as well as how to respond to crises in our communities such as climate change and reproductive rights.
UPTE-CWA President Dan Russell addressed the convention to report on the progress we have made in the last year, increasing membership by 700 after it had fallen by 1,500 between the Supreme Court’s anti-Union Janus decision in 2018 and his election in July 2021. He also spoke about the importance of continuing to build our Unit and Workplace representative structures and bring new titles into UPTE as we prepare for our 2024 contract fights.
CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens spoke about the organizing successes that CWA is spearheading across the country, such as at Activision-Blizzard (Microsoft). CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce spoke about challenges we are facing in California, such as the high cost of housing, and the importance of us standing together to fight for solutions. CWA Public Sector, Healthcare, and Education Workers Vice President Margaret Cook spoke about struggles across the country similar to those in UPTE, such as healthcare workers in Buffalo who struck for a month at the height of the pandemic, winning breakthrough safe-staffing ratios. The Newsguild-CWA President Jon Schleuss spoke about the exciting new organizing happening among electronic media. Ximena Anelu Gil, a United Auto Workers-Student Researchers United bargaining team member from UC Davis, spoke about her Union’s work to increase their membership in preparation for their current contract fight.
Delegates also attended workshops to improve their organizing, representation/stewarding, and reclassification skills and met together with others in similar titles across UPTE.
Delegates discussed and voted to pass number of amendments to our Constitution and Resolutions, summarized below:
Amendment 1: To give an option for UPTE retirees to also become CWA members by paying additional dues to CWA.
Amendment 2: To remove retiree Associate member status.
Amendment 3: To expand our Systemwide Executive Board by adding additional seats for every 1,000 members at any campus, codify 3 year terms for Systemwide Executive Board members, and run all Systemwide Officer and Executive Board members elections together.
Amendment 5: To stagger terms of Trustees and specify how their vacancy elections can be handled.
Resolution 1: To commit to fighting Climate Change and incorporating UPTE members’ priorities for fighting climate change into UPTE’s contract surveys
Resolution 2: To continue to build our Unit and Workplace Representative Structure, providing staff and legal support to these members who step up to represent their co-workers, and continuing to grow our Union by bringing in new titles.
Resolution 3: To commit to the fight for reproductive rights and working to codify the right to reproductive healthcare in UPTE’s contracts
Resolution 4: To oppose the closure of Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco.
Climate Change Survey Reminder
If you haven’t already, please participate in our annual 15-question survey on climate change.
We want to hear from you about what you think our union should do to protect our members, families, and communities.
Click here to fill out the survey and you will be eligible to win 1 of 10 $25 gift certificates!
Brianna McGuire and Susan Orlofsky, UPTE Green New Deal Committee Chairs