1) Dates, location-April 2-4, UC Davis, Alumni & Visitors Center & Memorial Union Building.
2) Bargaining Session-The UPTE bargaining team met on the first and third days of the session to write contract language, and worked very late the first night. The teams met on the second day where an AALAS (American Association of Laboratory Animal Science- http://www.aalas.org/Certification/tech_cert.asp) certification instructor gave a presentation, and then members addressed the teams. The AALAS presentation was very informative and helpful to understanding the complex, demanding and difficult nature of research animal care. The team presented UPTE’s proposal for Article 2-Agreement. There was intense discussion regarding the intent behind language changes in the proposal. This was centered on the union’s desire to streamline the unit modification process. UC’s consistent desire to deny union representation to employees through the reclassification process and the creation of new job titles outside of the union was the reason for such a heated discussion. Included in the proposal was also a request to give student workers the same benefits, pay and protection for similar work as union members. New contract language was proposed to incorporate CA State law allowing “card check”, which would make it easier to add non-union job titles to the research and technical units. This is important to protect the work legally defined and assigned to our jobs. “Employer Neutrality” was new language proposed to prevent UC’s interference in union organizing and activities.
3) Mobilizing-Approximately 40 UC Davis campus and medical center members attended the session, 12 of which addressed the bargaining teams to share their personal experiences on a variety of issues. The lack of reasonable accommodation, lack of market pay, low or non-existent shift differentials, hazardous work conditions, discriminatory behavior and lack of responsiveness by UC were passionately expressed by the members. While the members that spoke were grateful for the opportunity to address the university, they all shared a high level of frustration, disappointment and dissatisfaction regarding UC Davis’ indifference to employee needs.
4) Next session-May 7-9 at UC Riverside, May 21-23 at UC San Diego. Please check for exact locations.