For the past six months, the 2013 TX/RX Bargaining Team has been working diligently towards its goal to make sure that the voices of UPTE members from all of the UC campuses are heard and that the new contract is a reflection of that. The recent bargaining session on May 2nd and 3rd, at the UCI campus, solidified the team’s goal in creating a creditable, fair, and financially responsible contract by making the initial comprehensive proposal to UC.
The comprehensive proposal consisted of Article 4 – University Benefits, Article 6 – Compensation, and Article 9 – Duration of Agreement.
The new Article 4 is stronger than ever. It drives home the fact that we will not agree to, or support the new pension and retiree health proposals and changes made by UC in recent months. It aims to improve funding for pensions and healthcare in ways that are responsible and affordable. In regards to retiree health, it establishes new funding that will begin to secure this benefit for the first time. In addition, this proposed article finally gives UPTE members a voting voice in all decisions made regarding benefits, the pension, and retiree health.
The new Article 6 proposes salary increases that can truly support a living wage and removes the worry about increased costs of benefits. It allows us to see and bring home an increase in our pay. It proposes that employees with 15 years or more of service to UC have the right to increases in pay where they may have already maxed out. In addition, this proposal includes reimbursement of funds used for certifications and licenses required of employees by UC.
The new proposal also would have the new contract expire on June 30, 2016.
In addition to the comprehensive proposal, the team also presented our second proposal on Article 3 – Arbitration – and our counter proposal for Article 31 – Positions and Appointments.
UC’s proposed Article 31 would remove the option to receive paychecks throughout the year if furloughed during the summer months. Across the country, faculty and staff working at the elementary school level through the university level have this option. UC only states it too administratively “burdensome.” The UPTE team was quick to counter this article and make sure that UPTE members continue to receive the current pay options. Further, the team added additional language that protects Limited and Partial Year Appointments from unfair practices that have become the norm throughout the UC system.
The UPTE team continued to give UC articles throughout the two day session. On the second day of bargaining, the UC team had nothing to pass but did have a long list of questions for the UPTE Team in regards to the comprehensive proposal we submitted on the previous day. During this Q&A, the UPTE side received many questions about cost. When the UPTE team replied that the missing info from outstanding & incomplete RFI’s was holding up those answers, UC responded by saying in no uncertain terms that we needed to find the info ourselves. Apparently, UC wishes to abandon its legal obligation to provide necessary information in these negotiations.
The UPTE team continues to make excellent progress in building a solid contract worthy of, and in the best interest of, it’s members. We will not be rushed into making hasty decisions and will not be dissuaded from our goals.
Our next session is at San Diego, June 3 – 6. We have begun collecting information on members who are paid less for their work than others who perform comparable work outside UC. If you have information on market wages on your job classification in your geographical area please contact your bargainer (see below) immediately so that we can include this in our upcoming market equity proposal. Don’t delay!
We are fighting for your rights and financial security of all UPTE represented employees.
As always, members are encouraged to come and observe the process or make a presentation. If you have any questions about the process or coming to a bargaining session feel free to contact our chief bargainer or your campuses bargaining team member(s).
Your bargaining team:
Wendi Felson, UCSF (ret.), Chief Negotiator
Jim Hockridge, Principal Television Technician (TX), Berkeley
Paul Brooks, Spectroscopist (RX), Berkeley
Karen Galbreath, Animal Health Technician (TX), Davis
Vanessa Bakula, Staff Research Associate (RX), Davis
Erik Lawrence, Senior Wardrobe Technician (TX), Irvine
Mike Dupray, Principal Radiation Control Technician (TX), LBNL
Mike Fehr, Computer Resource Specialist (TX), Los Angeles
Jie Luo, Staff Research Associate (RX), Los Angeles
Tonya Greene-Tucker, Clinical Research Coordinator (RX), San Diego
Jimmy Leo-Castillo, Principal Electronic Technician (TX), San Diego
Paul Phojanakong, Laboratory Assistant (TX), San Francisco
Elisa Cleveland, Staff Research Associate (RX), San Francisco
Damion Miller, Principal Electronics Technician (TX), Santa Barbara
Erik Kovacs, Principal Telescope Technician (TX), Santa Cruz