Conference informs and energizes
On Saturday, 8/27/16, UC Administrative Professionals (APs) from around the state traveled to the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at LAX to create an alternative to conditions we face every day on the job:
- minute and arbitrary pay raises (while UPTE-represented workers have consistently received better and regular pay increases, by having negotiated minimum guaranteed net pay increases of up to 27.5% since 2008, which amounts to at least $47,000 more pay than APs have received in the last 10 years!).
- Unrepresented AP staff hired after 7/1/2013 must work 5 years longer than UPTE-represented employees for the same pension benefit. And as of 7/1/2016, newly hired AP unrepresented workers are now given the choice to opt out of contributing to our pension fund entirely and instead choose a defined contribution plan (like a 401K plan), which threatens the financial stability of our pension (UPTE-represented workers remain on a one-tier pension that they fought hard for in the last contract negotiations).
- Seniority is no longer a criterion for AP layoffs (UPTE-represented workers still have seniority rights in the event of layoffs; UPTE-represented workers receive a 60-day lay-off notification –APs receive only 30 days notice).
- UPTE-represented workers have preferential rehire/recall rights (these were recently eliminated for UC Berkeley APs).
- Quality of work life continues to be threatened as UC piles more work onto a shrinking workforce (UPTE-represented workers have the protections of a contract to address work-over-load).
Gaining a voice to advocate for these much-needed improvements is our goal–and what this conference was about.
APs enjoyed meeting colleagues from other UC campuses, and getting training in frequently asked questions about unionizing at UC. We attended workshops on how to have successful one-on-one conversations with co-workers and how to build local organizing committees. We were inspired by Al Bradbury at the luncheon plenary when she talked about the growing trend among professionals to form unions. All attendees received the book Secrets of a Successful Organizer, which Al co-authored, in our conference gift bags.
It was a day filled with intense conversations, fun meet & greets, and opportunities to volunteer. We left the conference motivated to return to our campuses and share good news with our co-workers–we can change our lives for the better through organizing with UPTE. We will be asking for your help in the coming months to reach out to every AP who has not yet heard from us.