Dec 19, 2013
University of California
UPTE members rally for fairness for all UC workers.
UPTE-CWA Local 9119 and the University of California have reached tentative agreement on a contract for the system's 15,000 researchers, technical employees and health care professionals. A ratification vote is planned for next week.
The proposed contract includes cost-of-living increases plus step increases over four years, and it preserves UC's quality retirement system on a single-tier for UPTE-represented workers through an additional contribution from employees.
"The historic agreement is a commitment to preserving the University of California as the world's premiere academic institution," said UPTE President Jelger Kalmijn. "Our bargaining team made a responsible proposal to contribute an additional 1 percent to the pension fund in exchange for the UC agreeing to keep all members on a single plan, and UC has agreed."
UC management had initially proposed a two-tier pension system that would have dramatically reduced benefits for current and future employees. UPTE-represented workers poured out onto picket lines, wrote letters and even went on strike in solidarity with other hospital workers last spring to make it clear they rejected UC's plan.
"We hope this ground-breaking agreement sets a new pattern for labor negotiations and brings to an end the years of attempted management take-backs despite healthy bottom-lines at UC's research and medical facilities," said Kalmijn. "A four-year agreement will provide new UC president Janet Napolitano with a period of labor peace," he added, in which he hopes "we can work together to remedy much of the damage that was done by difficult budget times and the acrimonious employment strategies of her predecessor."
Spirit Airlines Flight Attendants have reached a tentative agreement for a five-year contract. The agreement was reached with the assistance of the National Mediation Board.
AFA-CWA also has reached a tentative agreement with Alaska Airlines management on a five year agreement that would cover over 3,100 Flight Attendants. The tentative agreement, reached with the assistance of the National Mediation Board, contains wage increases and improved job security and protections.
AFA-CWA International President Veda Shook said, "While the airline industry is now making record profits, contract bargaining continues to be a grueling experience. Too often we are forced to spend sometimes years bargaining just to hang on to current contract language. At both Spirit and Alaska, through strong mobilization and effective strategies at the bargaining tables, our AFA leaders were able to negotiate for improvements in their existing agreements."
Spirit and Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants will vote on the tentative agreements throughout January, following road shows conducted by AFA-CWA leaders.