RX/TX Bargaining Report #13 — October 9, 2013

On October 9th UPTE’s TX/RX bargaining team  met with the University at UCOP in Oakland for a one-day session. UPTE  submitted four more articles as well as some of the LBNL specific sections of  our proposals. UC is adamantly opposed to bargaining LBNL issues along with the  rest of UC. And UPTE feels strongly that TX/RX members who work at LBNL should  not be separated off from entire bargaining negotiations.
In the afternoon we heard a presentation by UCOP’s  healthcare experts on the features of the 2014 healthcare changes. UPTE team  members asked many questions. We are disappointed that Health Net will not be  available as a 2014 option, nor will Sutter Health be offered. However, the new  plan, UC Care, is something UPTE has been promoting for quite some time. Who  best provides healthcare, UC does!

UC then submitted another Benefits and Pension  proposal. This newest version of Article 4 includes the same two-tier pension  proposal and retiree healthcare. It also included new language regarding  negotiating over the 2014 and 2015 healthcare plans; but requires UPTE to just  accept, without negotiations, whatever UC will propose for 2016 and 2017 with  no say (i.e. a waiver).

UC asked if we had changed our position on pension and  healthcare. We stated we have not as we provided a perfectly sustainable  pension and retiree healthcare proposal that pays for itself with no additional  costs to UC. In fact the UCRP will gain additional contributions under our plan  over their 2013 plan until 2018 and longer. We were then told to expect to see  UC filing for impasse because they will not accept our counter proposal which  they called “altruistic and noble.”
During all of the negotiations UC has pushed for impasse, even right at the  beginning of last December. They constantly complained that we were not  bargaining fast enough. Yet, when you look at the numbers, they have done very  little except complain, push for impasse and remain willfully obstinate over  our retirement benefits. No further bargaining dates were set as UC refuses to  negotiate any further. To summarize: UC wants us to accept their second tier  pension and retiree healthcare plan for a 2% step increase (if you are lucky  enough to actually be on a step system and not topped out).

UPTE’s current proposal is a 4-year contract with annual 4% raises for  all members in the first two years, and annual 3% raises for the last two  years. UPTE also proposes annual step increases for those who are eligible.  Finally, UPTE proposes a step increase when members reach 15, 20, 25, etc.,  years of service at UC.  Check UPTE’s website for a more complete  summary of bargaining proposals, past bargaining reports, etc.

UC proposes only step increases for those who are eligible. When  combined with their proposal to take an additional 3% of pay for pension  contributions, UC is proposing a pay cut for many of our members. Not  only is this proposal insulting, but UC’s latest memo claims UPTE is asking for  a total of 22% in raises plus step increases which is not correct.
UPTE’s math says 4 + 4 + 3 + 3 = 14. Does UC math  explain why we’re unable to agree on raises and retirement cuts? Or is UC trying to mislead our members?

UC has pushed for impasse throughout bargaining, beginning with our  first meeting in December, 2012. They constantly have complained UPTE isn’t  trying hard enough. In fact, UC has done little except complain, push for  impasse, and insist on their retirement cuts.
As members in the RX and TX units with an expired contract, you legally have  the right to participate in sympathy strikes with our Healthcare Professional  brothers and sisters or with other unions’ legal strikes. See your union representative to help,  voice your opinions and get involved.
Stand tall for our right to have what was promised us when we were hired.                 ————————————————————————————————————— Since the contract expired on June 30th,  we are in “STATUS QUO.”  This means UC  cannot make any changes to your workplace, scheduling, work rules, uniforms,  parking, etc. If UC wants to make a change, they must notify UPTE and allow us  the opportunity to bargain each issue separately. Since UC will fail to notify  us for the most part, we rely on you to let us know of changes UC makes without  our consent. When UC implements new changes after July 1st, say parking rate  increases, without notifying us and holding a bargaining session, then it is a  status quo violation. Once we get enough status quo violations, we can file an  Unfair Labor Practice charge with PERB (Public Employment Relations Board). If  there is a change to the terms and conditions at your workplace or if you just  aren’t sure if it qualifies as a change, let me know. UC does not need to know how we  received the information. For more information, see this  primer on Status Quo.

Please let us know what  changes are being made at your department! This will help us to fight for all  our rights! Get informed!                          —————————————————————————————————————-

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

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