UPTE Update 6/15/22

UPTE Update 6/15/22

Across the state UPTE Members are Organizing, Fighting, and Winning! Read updates on Genetic Counselors, Stagehands, Dietitians, National Lab workers, Clinical Lab Scientists, and more!

UC San Diego Genetic Counselors Win 15% Equity

After denying multiple individual market equity reviews for UCSD Genetic Counselors, the large majority of Genetic Counselors at UCSD came together with the support of their UPTE representatives from other job titles, making a formal demand for market equity. Genetic Counselors made a compelling case for their important contributions to UCSD, and the risk to patient care posed by the inability to recruit and retain new Genetic Counselors.

Through months of delays and denials, Genetic Counselors and their Unit Representative Dietitian Samantha Warsh continued to press UCSD decision makers – finally winning a 15% increase for all Genetic Counselors at UCSD! When we are organized and persistent, we win!

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Members Fight for Wage Fairness

Last month, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab management announced a special, mid-year raise to account for inflation, that would come in addition to regular annual raises. However, they specifically excluded all Union-represented staff from this, with no justification.


Recruitment and retention has become a major issue at LBNL, where many salaries fail to keep up with the market. UPTE immediately began circulating a petition, which a strong majority of UPTE-represented staff have now signed. UPTE Local 184 President Eduardo de Ugarte and other members delivered the petition to Lab Director Mike Witherell and have demanded a follow-up meeting.

Stagehand Daily Overtime Victory

Nine months months after resuming negotiations over the application of the Technical Unit (TX) Contract’s Hours of Work Article to Stagehands, UPTE’s President Dan Russell and Stagehand bargaining team have reached an agreement with UC.

UPTE was able to secure language without any loopholes that might allow UC to exclude Stagehands from Daily Overtime and Doubletime – as well as language that requires overtime to continue to be paid until we have 8 hours off work. Moreover, we negotiated up to $2000 in lump sum payments for UC Berkeley Stagehands who were unfairly excluded from Daily Overtime since UPTE won this for the rest of the TX Unit in 2019.

UC San Francisco Dietitians March on their Director

Dietitians at UCSF have been struggling with short staffing and unsustainable workloads that put patient care and Dietitian wellbeing at risk. After many meetings and discussions, Dietitians from across UCSF, pediatric and adult teams, came together with Workplace Representatives Emily Brumsted and Shana Johnson to deliver a letter in person to UCSF management demanding increased staffing and reasonable hybrid work arrangements to help Dietitians manage high levels of pressure and continue to deliver excellent patient care. 

Healthcare Professionals across the state are organizing for our patients, our colleagues, and our professions, and will keep fighting until we see the changes we deserve!

UC San Francisco Clinical Lab Scientist Shift Differential Victory

For months, UCSF Clinical Lab Scientists have been organizing to demand improved shift and weekend differentials and the market equity adjustments necessary to recruit and retain skilled CLS and maintain safe staffing levels.  UCSF Clinical Labs are facing high turnover, workplace injuries, and general dissatisfaction. Under the leadership of Clinical Lab Scientist Unit Representative Doug Chin, with a team of CLS workplace representatives from labs across UCSF, have organized a series of CLS meetings and circulated a petition demanding the improvements CLS need.

CLS organizing work is paying off, winning an increased evening differential of $7 an hour and night shift differential of $11 an hour, a substantial increase!  Since this victory, CLS continue to organize, delivering their petition to lab management and winning an agreement to meet over UPTE’s demands for fair market equity, improved staffing, and a fair weekend differential for UCSF CLS!

UPTE Endorses the People’s Summit

UPTE-CWA’s Systemwide Executive Board endorsed the 2022 People’s Summit held this past week in Los Angeles, declaring our solidarity with working people organizing across the Americas for dignity, respect, and self-determination. Thanks to UCLA Social Worker Hypatia Ostojic for her tireless advocacy, and for representing UPTE at the People’s Summit!