Vote “NO” on new UAW Contract Ratification

20 Nov

No bad contract

No sham statewide membership meeting

No vote

After five months of negotiations, during which the UC made repeated shows of bad faith, the UAWhas accepted a contract that has such minimal gains over the course of bargaining that it must berejected.

These past five months were characterized by the UC by systematic stalling, illegal bargainingpractices, union busting, and outright deceit and dishonesty. The bargaining team came down froman initial 7 % raise offer to 5, and then to 4, while management moved from 1 to 2 %. This ridiculouschain of ‘compromises’ to sub-inflation wages occurred in a short time frame and then sat on thetable for almost two months. With the Cost of Living increase for Orange County around 3.5% this iseffectively an 1.5% pay cut each year for the duration of this contract. For the UAW to accept the baseoffer of the UC under these conditions without agitating, truthfully, for a strike is appalling. Also, UCgraduate student instructors and teaching assistants earn 7% less than our colleagues at other schoolsaround the country.

The emails sent out by the UAW Bargaining Committee highlight that gains were made with thechildcare subsidy, increasing it to $600 per quarter. We applaud this increase in a necessary service.However, the total cost of this increase to the UC is only $75,000 systemwide. For the 12,000Academic Student Employees covered in this contract, this represents $6.25/TA. It is laughable to thinkthat this small increase is reason to accept the UC’s wage offer.

Immediately prior to the release of the tentative agreement the UAW Executive Board hijacked a rank-and-file call for an emergency statewide membership meeting to agitate for a strike in light of the poorbargaining process. The Executive Board moved the location of the membership meeting to UCLAaway from those organizing for it and distorted the purpose so that “in the event that the contract isresolved by the time of the meeting, it will provide a forum for members to ask questions about anddiscuss the tentative agreement.“ We do not want to discuss the tentative agreement; we reject thetentative agreement!

The timing of the sham statewide meeting, Nov. 30th, was chosen to exactly coincide with the contractratification voting period, Nov. 29th to Dec. 2nd. This was done to force the rank and file to choosebetween attending this dishonest statewide meeting or organizing locally to reject this awful contract.The choice is clear, and so we call for a boycott of the Nov. 30th statewide membership meeting.

Therefore, we are calling on each member to vote NO on the contract ratification, from Nov. 29th toDec. 2nd. We want to be clear that we are doing so as a militant gesture, not to divide and weaken theunion, but to prepare the membership to fight on our own behalf for our wages and working conditions.We hope the UAW leadership views a strong NO vote to be a sign that there is support for moreaggressive measures and capacity for grassroots organizing on each campus.

union flier

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