Read the latest edition of UPTE’s Award WinningNewsletter!!The latest news for UC CasualEmployeesFrom the Pressroom

Leaders Challenge Labor Practices (The Daily Cal, 06/09/00)

UC officials face hostile legislators (The Contra Costa Times, 06/09/00)

Governor signs Fair Share legislation (see http://www.upte.org/fairshare/)

Los Alamos National Lab workers now have collective bargaining rights under HEERA! (See Below)

Hospital merger dead; Stanford bails out of snakebit joint venture with UCSF (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/29/99)

UC gives top managers big raises; regents vote to boost salaries by up to $40,000 (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/18/99)

Pushing for Wage Adjustments to Help Halt Salary Erosion and High Turnover

As UPTE’s membership grows, so too does our ability to influence the California legislature on issues which directly affect our work lives. Pay, job retention and workplace protections are just some of the items that the legislature has a big say in. While legislators have traditionally heard from UC administration on these fronts the voice of the UC employee has largely gone unheard. UPTE is working to change that.

Last week UPTE members got the Assembly Budget subcommittee on Higher Education to add an additional $22 million into the pool for our wages. Immediate action is necessary to insure that this money stays in all the way up through the signing of the budget by the Governor. UC’s budget request this year, as in years past, is for a 2% cost of living adjustment (COLA), plus an additional 1.5% for merits, covering both faculty and non-faculty staff. Traditionally, UC negotiates salary increases at no more than the level provided in the state legislature’s budget, regardless of funding source. UPTE activists pressed their legislators, in Sacramento and in their districts, to increase funding for UC staff salaries. By providing testimony at the capitol and visiting legislators at their home offices, we made the point that UC staff salaries are lagging further behind our counterparts in the private sector and other public sector employees ­ as much as 9% behind state employees. Through statistical evidence, and real life examples, we were able to show how this ”salary erosion” results in higher turnover, and how that in turn affects not just us but the quality of the research, medical and technical services we provide.

We scored an impressive victory when we got the Assembly Budget subcommittee to add an additional 2% for non-faculty staff salary increases. We must keep the momentum going: we need to convince the Senate Budget subcommittee as well as the full Budget committees of both the Assembly and Senate to keep this money in the budget.

We will also need to have supplemental accountability language and an audit of where UC spends the millions appropriated for wage increases included in the budget to insure that money is not diverted to fund administrators increases or other projects.

Here’s what you can do: 
1. Send a letter to the Governor at [email protected] or write him at the State Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA 95814. Copy UPTE on anything you send out. The Governor will have the final say on the budget so we need his support too.
2. UPTE locals will be targeting key legislators on the Budget subcommittees. If your assembly member/or senator is a member of the Budget subcommittee on Higher Education, you will be asked to write to him/her using a sample letter we prepared. Contact your campus local to find out more about this.
3. If you haven’t joined UPTE, sign up now. If youčre already a member ­ sign up your co-workers.

Protecting the Rights of UC’s Casual Workers

A stronger union also means a growing ability to take on issues of job security for the increasing number of casual workers. UPTE has been hard at work on the legal and legislative front on behalf of UC casuals, the majority of whom are full-time employees who perform the same work as their colleagues serving in career positions. While casual positions are defined as those established for less than one year, or at less than 50 percent time for any duration, many casuals are hired for 364 day appointments, then laid off for a one-day break in service, and then appointed for another 364 day period, in some instances year after year. With no annual wage increases, fewer health benefits, no retirement, no job security and limited access to training and promotion, casualization detrimentally affects the university’s teaching and research mission which benefits from the loyalty, commitment and retention of career staff. UPTE recently won a major legal case which establishes our right to challenge the classification of long term casuals under the UPTE contract The first of those challenges, filed on behalf a UCLA 13 year casual employee, is scheduled for hearing in June.

” It comes as a surprise to most UC workers that as many as one-third of UC research professional staff work in casual positions,” notes Cliff Fried, UPTE Local President at UCLA, where 74% percent of SRAs are casual, by far the heaviest casualization rate amongst all of the campuses. “Unfortunately UC casualization is not limited to the research sector, long term casual employees are found in technical support, administrative support and patient care services too. ”

While UPTE recognizes the need for genuine temporary employees, we continue to press to end the practice of ”permatemps” which leads to lower employee moral and higher turnover. Working in coordination with other unions representing UC employees, we have introduced legislation (SB 1857) in the Senate Education committee which would reclassify, as permanent, casual employees who work for 90 consecutive days or 120 days in the last 12 months. We need to have our legal challenges, and our legislative campaign backed by the strong support of UC career and casual professional employees. Contact UPTE to find out how you can help.

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