HX Bargaining Report #9
UCLA (March 5-7, 2012)
The ninth contract meeting between the University Professionals and Technical Employees Healthcare Professionals Unit (UPTE HX) and University of California (UC) took place in Los Angeles from March 5 to March 7, 2012. As was the case with previous meetings, UC continued to promise a much better economic offer than what is on the table if we take the long term deal which included the 2013 lesser tier pension and the reduced retiree healthcare proposal.
While the 2013 2-Tier pension affects only new employees hired after July 1, 2013; the reduced retiree health plan proposal can affect a significant number of current employees. For that reason, UPTE HX wants to bargain on the two tier pension proposal at the same time as our TX and RX unit members, California Nurses Association (CNA) and AFSCME in 2013. UPTE HX feels that the two tier pension will hurt current UC employees as well as future employees hired after July 1, 2013 in a number of ways. This HX unit is not prepared to bargain these critical benefits now and without having more fiduciary facts on the current pension as well as the proposed second tier pension. We want a contract now with decent wages and to negotiate major pension changes at a future date when we are more prepared and in a stronger bargaining position.
We have reaffirmed our position (which has not changed) to seek a short term contract that will end before June 30, 2013. We have made an official counter proposal to their 5-year contract proposal with a short term contract that will end December 31, 2012. We have addressed the need for adequate equity adjustments for many of the job titles at all of the UC Medical Centers as well as a more substantial across the board wage increase for all the UC Medical Centers and student health centers that were absent in UC’s last wage proposal.
It is not clear what path this contract negotiation will take from this point, but HX has clearly stated it is not interested in meeting again until UC presents a contract that ends before July 1, 2013. After numerous statements and no change in our proposal since day one of bargaining; UC should now clearly understand we have no intention of discussing a long term contract. To help UC understand how firmly we hold this position, we have not extended the old contract. We are now in what is called “status quo” or working without a contract which means that the employer cannot impose any changes in respect to your wages, working conditions, work rules, uniforms, hours of work or shift changes.
It also means we are no longer held to the “No Strikes” article. If your supervisor or department makes any changes to you or your co-workers working conditions, please contact UPTE immediately. UPTE will take it from there; you aren’t being asked to refuse to accept the changes to your bosses. We just ask that you report the changes to us so that we are informed of the violations by UC of status quo.
UPTE HX is planning a system-wide mobilizing meeting at UC San Diego on Sunday March 11, 2012 in preparations for a what is shaping up to be a very long and difficult fight ahead. If you are interested in participating in the system-wide mobilizing meeting this weekend it’s not too late. To learn more about ways you can help with current contract negotiations or find out more, please contact your local bargaining team member.
If you would like more information on any of the topics discussed in this report or submit market equity data, please let one of the bargaining team members know. As always we encourage our members to get involved and participate in the process.
Your bargaining team:
Wendi Felson, Clinical Laboratory Scientist (retired), Chief Negotiator
Jamie McDole, Case Manager, Davis
Sonia Palacio, Clinical Social Worker, Irvine
Tom Brewer, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Los Angeles
TK Lee, Pharmacist, San Diego
Jason Rosenbury, Clinical Social Worker, San Francisco
Susan Rode, Student Health Centers