Bargaining session #1 was held Wednesday through Friday, March 5-7 at UC Berkeley and bargaining session #2 was held Wednesday through Thursday, March 19 & 20 at UCLA.
1. Opening Statement-The UPTE Bargaining team put the university on notice that we would no longer accept below market wages and the broken step system. UC continues to falsely tie our wage increases to state funding. We want to hold UC accountable for making sure that we’re properly classified. To address this we need to be able to grieve and arbitrate all job reclassifications. “Total compensation” is very high on the priority list; getting them to agree to follow state labor laws regarding overtime, as well as eliminating the “benefits waiver” that allows UC to increase our health care premiums at their discretion. Protecting our pensions and retiree health benefits are critical goals. We want the university to agree to follow all federal, CAL-OSHA and local health and safety standards, laws and regulations.
2. Ground Rules-UC wasted the first 3 days of bargaining trying to pressure us to agree to restrict non-unit employees from attending any bargaining session. This means that our union coalition partners and other interested UC employees would not be allowed to attend bargaining sessions. The university also wants a gag order to prevent anyone present during bargaining to be able to speak to any media. We rejected heavy handed attempt to restrict our constitutional rights of freedom of speech. The UPTE Bargaining Team’s goal is to provide open and transparent negotiations.
3. Mobilizing-Membership turnout has been record setting for our first two sessions. 150 passionate and vocal attendees were on hand at the first meeting in Berkeley. The second session was equally impressive with over 100 members. Over 25 members addressed the teams to send a strong and powerful message that they are tired of being ignored.
4. Requests For Information (RFI)-The team has submitted RFI’s on: pension fund, defined contribution plan, employee benefits, performance evaluations, military leave, funding sources, subcontracting, and remote location employees. This is a normal part of bargaining to empower the team to formulate proposals.
5. We’re early on in the bargaining process and the bargaining team encourages continued member support! Thank you to everyone for your participation!!!