Thursday, April 18, 2019

More Strike News

From the Sacramento Bee: The union representing 10,000 research and technical workers at the University of California on Wednesday denounced the UC’s decision to unilaterally impose a wage increase of 3 percent that will appear in their June checks.

UPTE-CWA 9119 leaders said in a news release that they are weighing their options, up to and including a strike. Members of the union have joined in four strikes over the past 12 months.

The union has been bargaining for new labor contracts with the UC for about two years, and contracts for all the employees it represents have expired. The union’s research and technical units reached an impasse in negotiations in mid-February, meaning that the UC could implement its own terms.

“Implementation is just another of UC’s tactics to bully and confuse workers into accepting an unfair offer, and it is not the product of good-faith negotiations by UC,” said UPTE-CWA President Jamie McDole. “These workers have been fighting for a fair contract for nearly two years in which UC has made next to no movement on our key demands, which address the crisis in recruitment and retention, and protect UC students, patients, and research.”

In a letter to UPTE-CWA members on Monday, Peter Chester, the executive director UC Systemwide Labor Relations, announced the terms.

“We believe negotiations with UPTE have taken much longer than they should, and it has been too long since you have received a raise,” Chester said “At some point, UC and UPTE will need to return to the bargaining table in order to negotiate any additional increases as part of a multi-year contract.”

...UPTE-CWA 9119 rejected the UC’s last contract offer, the terms of which included:

▪ Annual wage increases of 3 percent from 2020 to 2023, plus raises of 3 percent in April and October of this year. In a sign of just how rancorous negotiations are, the two sides disagreed over the contract period. UPTE-CWA spokesperson Dan Russell said UC’s offer extends through only September 2022.
▪ A one-time payment of $1,250 upon contract ratification.
▪ A $25 cap on monthly health insurance premiums for the UC’s Kaiser and Health Net Blue and Gold plans...

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