UPTE Weekly Update – Week of 8/23

Please find this week’s UPTE Update below. 



University of California vowing more equity, transparency in campus policing 


OC COVID-19 cases rising just as students head back to classrooms


Four new projects aim to deliver 557 residential units in downtown Berkeley


Revised approval process for essential research travel


‘Must be safe and feel safe’: UC Office of President releases safety plan for campuses


California universities reopen in person; will delta variant push students back to Zoom?


UC welcomes new regent


Student researchers in University of California system vote to join United Auto Workers union



A Message from Dan Russell, UPTE’s New President

It is an incredible honor to serve as UPTE-CWA President. I want to thank all of our members who participated in the election – no matter who you supported. We all did so because we want a stronger union. We need all of us working together to make that a reality in the coming years.

My proudest moments in UPTE have been walking picket lines with many of you: In Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles, Irvine, Livermore, San Francisco, and where I work, UC Berkeley. I remember having many conversations three years ago with folks who didn’t think that we could win a fair contract at UC – then getting inspired when so many of you came out on strike for the first time.

In 2019, we won the best UC contract in UPTE’s history, not just because so many of you walked the picket lines but because you did the hard work. You took the time to have sometimes difficult conversations with your co-workers to encourage them to come with you. We know that future struggles will be even more challenging and that we must begin the hard work to build our power and capacity today and every day.

Right now, our members at Lawrence Livermore National Lab are going through a similar fight. After two years of negotiations – they just finished a three-day strike against unfair labor practices designed to bully them into backing down. It was hotter on those picket lines than any I remember at UC – but the sun and the heat did not stop our members from keeping up the fight all three days. 

Similarly, our adjunct faculty at Butte College, College of the Sequoias, and Mt San Jacinto College face an uphill battle for the job security and wages that they deserve. You’ve probably heard stories calling them “freeway fliers” because they have to spend hours commuting between different campuses to make ends meet. That needs to change. Change will take us building power as a union.

There are too many issues in our union we need to address. We can win all of those things and more – if we organize. That’s where our power comes from, not from me, or other UPTE leaders, or staff, but from you and your co-workers standing together.

The job of UPTE’s leaders and staff is to make sure that you have the skills – and the support – you need to make your workplace safe, provide for your family, and be treated with the respect you deserve. 

There is a lot of work to do – but we have smart and dedicated people who have stepped up to help make sure we can get it done. Not just me, Ursula, Matias, Carole, and Matt. Not just our Executive Boards – but the hundreds of other members who are stepping up at their campuses and who will become even more involved as we continue to do this work together.

I can’t wait to see how much we can accomplish together and to share stories of our success as we make them. 

No on the Recall

Registered voters should have already received a ballot in the mail for the Sept. 14 recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom. 

UPTE’s Executive Board urges you to vote NO on this unnecessary election and to return your ballot in the mail as soon as possible. 

The recall is being bankrolled by anti-union, anti-worker millionaires in an attempt to overturn the choice of California voters. The recall would almost certainly lead to a far less worker and union-friendly Governor – especially if only supporters of the recall return their ballots!

Governor Newsom set aside $807 million of the state’s $75 billion surplus for UC – restoring funding that was cut during the COVID pandemic. The new funding includes $506 million in ongoing monies for core campus operations, student needs, and medical training. At least 133,000 more community college students will have guaranteed eligibility to financial aid, double the number that currently receive aid. Read more here.

The Governor will be doing a Town Hall with CWA on Wednesday at 5PM. 

RSVP at this link to join! https://actionnetwork.org/events/canewsomtownhall

If you are interested in phonebanking to fellow CWA members about this, click here to sign up! https://actionnetwork.org/forms/stop-the-recall-phonebanks

How does the special election Recall work? There are two questions on the Recall ballot. First: Should Governor Newsom be recalled? Our answer is “NO!” 

Second: Who do you vote for to replace Governor Newsom? Our answer to that is, “NONE of them!” The leading candidates have one thing in common: they don’t like unions. One of them, Larry Elder, even said it’s a “big myth that unions help workers” and said there should be NO minimum wage! If the recall succeeds, the candidate with the most votes wins, even if it’s only 10% of votes cast!

When you get your ballot, vote NO on question 1 and return your ballot in the mail as soon as possible. 

In Solidarity, 

Dan Russell, President

Ursula Quinn, Vice President

Matias Campos, Executive Vice President

Carole Netter, Treasurer

Matt Stephen, Secretary




Workers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will head to mediation with their employer Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC on Friday. 

We wish them luck. 



CWA Recall Phone Banks

Last week, CWAers in California kicked off their “Vote No on the Recall” campaign in an effort to keep Governor Gavin Newsom in office. Governor Newsom has been a champion of working people in California. Most recently, he has worked with CWA and other unions to build the country’s strongest COVID-19 protections for essential workers and passed paid sick leave legislation, which gave workers the time they need to care for themselves and loved ones while keeping their families and communities safe.

The recall poses a direct threat to our jobs, wages, benefits and our union. The anti-union forces behind the recall are attempting to undo decades of progress on workers’ rights in the state.

The CWA campaign is being led by three Regional Coordinators, Vanessa Mesa (Southern Region), CWA Local 9509; Fidel Andrade (Central Region), CWA Local 9333; and Heladio Saldivar (Northern Region), CWA Local 9421, who are mobilizing members to join weekly phone banks and weekend labor walks.

CWAers also participated in a “Stop the Recall” campaign kickoff rally on August 7.

To join the phone bank on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5pm PT, sign up here.


General Updates

Join the Peace and Justice Committee!

The UPTE-CWA Peace and Justice Committee is doing important work advocating for peace and racial justice and is open for all members to join and participate. To receive updates, or if you have questions about the committee’s work, you can contact Hypatia Ostojic at hypatita@gmail.com

Call for UPTE Photos

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

Follow Us On Social Media 

We regularly post information relevant to you. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at  @uptecwa. 







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