UPTE CWA 9119 (University Professional & Technical Employees) will be holding a strike on September 24th (Thursday). This strike is a response to unfair pay slashes and furloughs that staff must undergo. In addition, UC Faculty will be walking out that day in solidarity with these demands:
1. No furloughs or paycuts on salaries below $40,000.
2. The immediate institution of the Academic Senate Council’s July 29 recommendation regarding the implementation of furloughs.
3. Full disclosure of the budget.
The following is an excerpt from the upcoming 2009-10 Disorientation Guide from the article, “The Budget Cuts” by Gazuedro:
During July the UC established an unusual pay slash/furlough system. It cut employee salary by 4-10% based on the employee’s original salary, and then, as some sort of twisted compensation it gave employees anywhere between 11 to 26 days off amidst a 16% unemployment crisis. The pay cuts themselves don’t only target UC employees making high salaries, but will target the lowest paid employees strongly. Salaries higher than $240,000 will be cut no greater than 10%, while employees making less than $40,000, no matter how little, will receive 4% pay cuts. Through this approach, the UC is hoping to cover approximately 25% of their budget shortfall. Perhaps the worst aspect of the furlough system the UC has established is that part time employees will receive a pay cut based on the salary they would be making if they they were full-time employees. In other words, if someone part-time makes $30,000 and their full-time equivalent makes $50,000, they will receive a 6% pay cut instead of a 4% pay cut!
In January of 2009, service workers in the union AFSCME Local 3299 won a contract battle that lasted 16 months. Stipulated in the contract, service workers were promised a pay increase of 4% (with further increases each consecutive year). Although valiantly struggled for, the total pay increase will nowhere near provide service workers with a wage they can survive on. In effect, these pay cuts have undermined all the gains of January’s new contract—gains struggled for precisely because of how necessary they were. What the UC is doing is truly vile and borders on the spiteful.
The pay cuts and furlough system have been promised to only last for 1 year. Despite reassurances from administrators that renewing such a furlough system again would be an arduous process, the likelihood that pay cuts will return for the next year are strong as some of the impact of the budget shortfall this year has been cushioned by the temporary Federal Stimulus. In all likelihood, a similar federal stimulus will not exist the following year, thus increasing the need to slash salaries.