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November 20, 2017

1)Stop Corporate Tax Giveaway Before It Mortgages Our Future

The House voted for the Republican tax giveaway on Friday but the fight is just beginning. The plan must pass the Senate and then come back for another vote in the House.

A nonpartisan analysis from Congress’ own Joint Committee on Taxation concluded the proposed Republican tax plan would RAISE taxes on families making under $75,000.

The plan cuts corporate tax nearly in half, and gives huge tax breaks to the wealthiest 1%, who would also no longer pay estate tax. The lost revenue will trigger cuts to services like Medicare and Medicaid, hitting working families the hardest.  It would be disastrous for higher education, and would halt the construction of affordable housing, hospitals and schools. The Senate version eliminates subsidies for the Affordable Care Act, cutting health benefits for 13 million.

We Californians will be specifically hurt by the Trump tax plan. Our state and local taxes will no longer be deductible. We can pressure CA legislators of both parties to vote “NO” on this corporate tax give away. Some voted “NO” last Friday.

Here are actions you can take:

A real pro-growth tax plan would provide relief for working people, who would recirculate funding back into stimulating the economy. Tax relief for corporate America creates more inequity and off-shore bank accounts. Trickle up works, trickle down doesn’t.

2) UPTE Organizes IT: Pay Equity & Job Security

We have brought over 750 information technology (IT) workers back into UPTE over the past 2 years. These workers, Business Technology Support Analysts (BTSA) and Systems Administrators (SA), will now benefit from the raises, superior pension and job security protections that UPTE has won.

UC has engaged in a massive reorganization of job titles that set up non-union IT titles to do parallel work to UPTE-represented Computer Resource Specialists and Technology Support Analysts. This reorganization has already occurred at most campus and will soon expand to the final campuses: Los Angeles, Irvine and Santa Barbara. Hundreds more Programmer Analysts will be returned to UPTE contracts at these campuses.

For BTSAs, UPTE aims to undo the pay inequities created by the “merit” pay system. While ostensibly rewarding good performance, in reality raises are most often awarded on criteria other than merit, such as subjective assessments, budget necessities, or giving larger raises to bosses or favorites.

Despite the fact that the Public Employment Relations Board has ruled definitively in favor of UPTE, UC continues to object to the inclusion of Systems Administrators in the union’s bargaining units. UC unilaterally took this work out of the technical bargaining unit but objects to putting it back in. While the legal process continues, UPTE has already been collecting bargaining surveys and fighting SA layoffs in Riverside.

3) MSJC’s Management Bargainers Go From Bad to Worse: Breaking the Law

Mt San Jacinto College management clearly cares little for its adjunct faculty or students. UPTE represents the adjunct faculty at the community college.

When students came to contract bargaining last week to witness the poor treatment of adjuncts, the management bargainers wanted to kick them out. Management ended up refusing to continue talks and stormed out of the session.

The college wants to hide the fact that adjuncts earn a third what their tenured colleagues make despite teaching the same classes. They don’t want students to know that faculty keep leaving because neighboring college districts pay better.

UPTE’s bargainers insist on the respect we deserve, both as bargainers and in pay. We will be filing bad faith bargaining charges against the college for what is called “surface bargaining” (that is, not seriously bargaining), interfering with the internal process of our union, and refusing to respond to critical information requests. The state’s Public Employment Relations Board can order the college to cease and desist.

UPTE members at Mt San Jacinto College are ramping up their action after a petition, which was delivered to the Board of Trustees. Next is a holiday action targeting the college president.

4) Pressure UC For Equity Increases

During our bargaining survey, many UPTE members have spoken up about important market inequities. UPTE’s bargaining teams have proposed increases to bring up pay. UC has up to now either rejected or refused to respond to these demands.

We need to take our demands to the workplace and the public if UC bargainers won’t listen.

Counseling Psychologists, who recently joined UPTE, have gone to the media in Los Angeles and Riverside to show how their dramatic pay disparity hurts the students they serve.

Physician Assistants will be presenting petitions to managers, to put UC on notice that we expect support for excellent work. PAs deserve pay equivalent to Nurse Practitioners, who essentially perform the same work.

Pharmacists, Nuclear Medicine Techs, Animal Techs, and Scene Techs will be the next job titles to create a stir in support of their specific equity demands. Other job titles will be added to this list.

Unfortunately, UC has refused to hear our reasonable and well-argued presentations at the bargaining table, so now we need to raise the volume.

If you are among the job titles mentioned above, keep a close eye out for “status quo” violations that can be used to pressure management.


The UPTE E-Bulletin is prepared by UPTE-CWA President Jelger Kalmijn. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to write him at president@upte-cwa.org.

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