UCOP (February 14-17, 2012)
The UPTE-HX bargaining team met with the UC bargaining team from Tuesday, 2/14/2012, through Friday, 2/17/2012, at the UCOP offices in Oakland. This was the eighth such session since bargaining began in early October 2011. This was also the first bargaining session in more than a month, as the last bargaining session was at UC San Diego from January 11-13, 2012.
Much of the focus for these days of bargaining was on seeking equity raises for the Dietitian IIs and Senior Dietitians, who were formerly unrepresented but came under HX representation in September 2011. UC’s response was extremely varied, with some UC medical centers offering immediate equity raises ranging from 2% to 20% for each newly represented dietitian, and others offering no equity increases until the entire HX contract is completed.
Some medical centers were unable to make a clear, coherent proposal or even identify who these newly represented dietitians are. Further at all but one Medical Center placement on the newly created steps for the Dietitians was not based on their total, or even UC, years of experience. UC stated that the terms of the proposal were determined by the HR department at each medical center, and that some of those locations were not interested in improving their proposal. UC’s proposal for the Dietitian II’s and Senior Dietitian was not acceptable to the UPTE-HX bargaining team by the end of the bargaining session.
NOTE: Conference calls specifically for the Dietitians is being set up at two separate times (Tuesday at noon and Thursday at 6pm) next week to go over the proposals and work out what our next step for you should be. You should be getting a separate email soon with more information about the calls.
On the last day of bargaining, UC presented their second Article 5 Compensation proposal, which was only slightly improved from their initial proposal from December 2011. HX has been waiting for over a month, including cancelling an earlier bargaining session, so that UC would have time to come up with a wage proposal based on a contract that expires before July 1, 2013. What they passed across the table was again a 5-year contract with only an additional 0.5% added to the across the board wage increases. This proposal again came with the stipulation that UPTE-HX must accept PTO for all members and the two-tier 2013 pension proposal as part of a 5-year contract. UC stated this was their “bottom line offer.”
UPTE-HX Chief Negotiator Wendi Felson politely informed the UC team that UPTE-HX is not interested nor willing to negotiate the 2-tier pension changes or the reduced retiree health plan proposal at this time. HX further pointed out that other unions have recently received much higher wage increases in their new contracts than and we would expect the same for HX; that the medical centers are doing very well financially; and that the medical center CEO’s pay has been increasing by as much as 60% per year. Again it was firmly stated that this HX bargaining table wants a contract that expires by June 30, 2013.
HX also declined to extend the current contact any longer (it had previously been extended through 2/17/2012), which puts UPTE-HX into a “dynamic status quo” situation. Status quo means that most of the terms and conditions of your workplace can’t be changed by management, including such things as work hours, procedures, work schedules, lunch break times, uniforms, etc. There will be more coming out about this soon.
This also means that the option of mobilizing and initiating strike preparations is now available to UPTE-HX as the No Strikes article is no longer in place. It is essential that members take action at this critical crossroads in the bargaining process. We will be holding a System wide HX mobilizing and planning meeting at UC San Diego on Sunday, March 11th to make plans and discuss strategies to move bargaining forward to a successful contract. Please plan to come; we need everyone’s input and efforts at this time. This meeting is open to all; we will cover your expenses and help with transportation. Let your bargainer know so we can help make arrangements for you to come.
Also, be sure to check out Facebook page for more information and discussion. We want to use this space for discussion, comments and any questions on why fighting off both the PTO policy and the 2013 2-tier pension program is so critical. For this and any other aspect of bargaining, please contact your local HX bargaining team member.
Our next bargaining session is March 5th – 7th at UCLA. Local HX members are encouraged to attend.
Your bargaining team:
Wendi Felson, Clinical Laboratory Scientist (retired), Chief Negotiator
Jamie McDole, Case Manager, Davis
Sonia Palacio, Clinical Social Worker, Irvine
Tom Brewer, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Los Angeles
TK Lee, Pharmacist, San Diego
Jason Rosenbury, Clinical Social Worker, San Francisco
Susan Rode, Student Health Centers
We thank Michele Freeman, CSW from UCSD, who was an alternate for TK Lee at this session