UPTE Weekly Update: October 18 2021

Labor Movement Headlines

‘Let’s Put a Wrench in Things Now’: Deere Workers Strike as Company Rakes in Record Profits – Labor Notes

Kellogg’s Workers Are Striking Against a “Two-Tiered” System of Workplace Inequality – In These Times

Striketober: Labor Militancy Grows as U.S. Workers Walk Off the Job & IATSE Members Get Tentative Deal – Democracy Now! 

Scene Tech (Stagehands) Hours of Work Fight

Stagehands (who have the title of Scene Technician at UC) are still fighting to receive daily overtime, more than 2 years after the rest of the UPTE-represented members won this important ​victory. UC insisted on separate negotiations for how this article would apply to Scene Techs, yet have still not made an initial proposal. UPTE is fighting to make sure that daily overtime and related language from our Hours of Work article apply appropriately to the unique conditions of Scene Techs, who often work 12 hour days or more. Last week, Scene Techs organized a flyering action at UC Davis, and today, Scene Techs are holding an action at UCLA!

Mt. San Jacinto Contract Campaign

Part-time faculty at Mt San Jacinto College (MSJC) met with their Community College District today to pressure the district to finally make part-time faculty whole for inappropriately excluding all part-time staff from participation in a 403(b) retirement plan. UPTE members at MSJC have formed a strong and committed bargaining team for their upcoming contract, and are preparing to fight for seniority rights, parity in pay with other institutions, and more!

University of California Organizing Updates

Behavioral Health Counselors and Behavioral Health Psychiatric Professionals

Behavioral Health Counselors (BHC) provide essential counseling and psychiatric services to students, staff, and the public. A bargaining team of BHCs representing every campus in the state just completed their first bargaining session as part of joining UPTE’s Healthcare Professionals Unit. They are fighting for fair wage scales, and to be brought in line with comparable mental health professionals. UPTE members statewide stand behind these Behavioral Health staff, whose victory will benefit all those who depend on their services through improved staffing and retention.

Community Health Program Reps

Community Health Program Reps gathered in large numbers in meetings this past week to prepare themselves to campaign for equitable terms for the inclusion of their title into the Healthcare Professionals Unit. For decades, Community Health Program staff have performed much of the same work as UPTE represented staff, at only a fraction of the pay and with inferior benefits. UPTE hopes and expects the University will engage collaboratively in rectifying this long standing injustice.

Systems Administrators

It has been nearly 4 years since the Public Employment Relations Board agreed that Systems Administrators should be part of the UPTE Technical Unit. UC spent more than 2 years and a significant sum of money in a failed bid to appeal PERB’s decision. Now, after months of bargaining, UC has still not provided a complete initial proposal. UPTE is demanding that Systems Administrators be made whole for all of the raises that they have been eligible for since PERB’s favorable 2017 decision, including back pay. Systems Administrators have been key to UC’s continued operations during the pandemic, as so much work shifted online – it is time for UC to honor that contribution with a fair deal at the bargaining table.

78th Annual CWA Convention

On Monday, CWA President Chris Shelton addressed the delegates to the 78th CWA Convention, held virtually for the first time ever in order to prioritize the health and safety of members, leaders and staff during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In his keynote address, President Shelton acknowledged the difficulties of dealing with a global pandemic and how its impact has been exacerbated by the ongoing challenges facing working families including the climate crisis, public health crisis, political extremism, attacks on voting rights, and corporate greed, but reminded delegates that “[i]n hard times like these, our job as leaders is to nurture hope, to help it grow, to spread the spirit of hope to our members and to our communities.”

See President Shelton’s speech, read the resolutions that were passed, and more here: News + Events

Call for UPTE Photos

We here at UPTE are looking for photos of our members to use in communications materials. We want shots of members working. Do you have any of these photos? If you do, please send them to info@upte-cwa.org

 

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For past UPTE Updates, visit https://www.upte.org/local/new/upte-weekly-update/.