|Union Builder Communicator: August 05, 2008|
State Budget Blackmail, Yudof E-Picket
California cuts taxes for the wealthy in times of economic health, but with the current economic crisis the governor and conservative legislators will not consider taxing oil companies (California is one of only two states that doesn’t), taxing yacht owners, and closing tax loopholes. (For details, see California Speaker Karen Bass’ webpage).
Lines at DMV offices, summer student programs, and many other state agencies are already being affected. How many will avoid careers in state employment in the future if they stand to be used as pawns in political maneuvers? The state of California already has one of the worst school systems, and its state highways are in disrepair (see Karen Bass page for list of previous cuts and their effects.)
While these cuts do not yet directly affect UC employees, the new UC President Yudof sent out a message to staff saying “UC will take appropriate measures to assist the governor and the state in addressing its financial situation.” The head of the California state university system has promised that CSU will come up with the money to pay its staff. The state controller has defied the governor stating that he can’t reduce state workers pay, and even if he could, he wouldn’t reduce state workers pay to the federal minimum wage. Why can’t our new president stand up for staff instead of sending out ominous emails? To make clear to President Yudof that he shouldn’t even consider cutting our pay, UPTE-CWA set up an e-picket. If you and your co-workers have not sent him an email yet, please do so right away before he decides to take any action.
Talking To Our Community: Faculty Petition & YouTube
We want to make better use of video and other forms of communication and to support our contract campaign. If you have not yet had the opportunity, check out the professionally produced YouTube videos of UPTE-CWA members explaining their work and what they want in a union contract. We are also developing a website to show how UC’s wage and benefit policies are undermining the quality of our university. Do you have suggestions or additions to this website? Personal testimonials, relevant statistics and creative suggestions would all make this a more compelling website for legislators, faculty and news media. Please send your suggestions to Jelger Kalmijn, UPTE’s president.
Our effort to reform labor law so that a majority of workers can obtain union recognition without having to pass through a rigged election process has built momentum by getting 1 million union members to sign cards. The Employee Free Choice Act, as the federal bill is called, will give workers across the country similar rights to those we currently have for higher education employees in California. UPTE-CWA members are signing the legislative support cards and having their pictures taken for a massive event where we will use the photos of 10,000 workers to surround the U.S. Capitol the day the Employee Free Choice Act is submitted.
Also at the convention, UPTE-CWA delegates played a leading role in setting CWA policy on health care reform. Rather than accepting reform strategies that would strengthen the insurance industries grip on our healthcare or just waiting for a more receptive elected leadership, our delegates presented a resolution to support current, profound legislative health care reform proposals. Proposals such as that proposed by Schwarzenegger/Nuñez in California last year have countless fundamental flaws. They force workers to purchase health care they can’t afford, and punish them if they don’t, and they set no minimum standard on the quality of care employers need to provide. For health care reform, the devil is in the details, and we need reform that will refocus our health care system on quality care and not profits of the health care industry.
In addition to these two important legislative efforts, the delegates unanimously endorsed Barack Obama for US president. CWA also held an election for the national leadership, and we voted to retain the current leadership of our district and the public sector.
Stewards Tip: Comp Time or Pay for Overtime Worked
Last issue's winner was Giuseppina Cappella of UCSC. Congratulations!
|This e-publication was prepared by UPTE-CWA President Jelger Kalmijn. Contact him if you have any questions or comments. If you wish to be removed from this list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.|