UCLA UCPath Update & Commitments

Last week UCLA union members affected by UCPath payment problems met with UCLA Labor Relations and requested a list of remedies, including: interest on late wages, legal counsel for students facing eviction proceedings, cost of any financial penalties, and waiver of all University-related fees incurred due to late pay or tuitions remission because of UCPath, and in general to make all affected student workers whole. In an email the following day, UCLA’s grad division committed to the following:

  • Reversing late fees
  • Saving classes from being dropped
  • Providing interest free loans
  • “Advocating to UCPath for swift resolution regarding specific graduate student cases that come to our attention.”

These commitments represent progress. However, we have to keep pushing the University to ensure that student workers are made whole for what has been a nightmarish rollout of the UCPath payroll system. If you continue to have an issue or experience a new issue during your next pay cycle, please report your issue here. This is especially important, because according to a UCPath representative at a recent Labor Relations meeting with members of our union, UCPath is “not aware of its own errors.”




Major victories for UAW academic workers // Ongoing UCPath issues

This Thanksgiving, academic workers have two victories to celebrate. Two of our sibling unions have reached important milestones in their fight for representation.

Yesterday the 5,000 Academic Researchers at UC who chose to join UAW Local 5810 (Postdocs and now Academic Researchers) received their official certification from the Public Employee Relations Board. Now they can begin bargaining their first contract.

And in a major development for graduate workers in the private sector, after a years-long campaign and week-long strike last year, graduate student workers at Columbia (GWC-UAW Local 2110finally brought management to the table to bargain their first contract. We congratulate Columbia workers on their victory and stand in solidarity with them as they move into the next phase of their campaign, and win the workplace protections that UC academic workers have enshrined in our contract over the last 20 years of bargaining.

These victories come in what has been a difficult month for academic workers at the University of California. At the four campuses that have transitioned to UCPath, members are still experiencing delayed pay, inaccurate paychecks, missing fee waivers, and problems with tuition remission. Thanks to the advocacy of our UCLA Unit, UCLA Graduate Division has now announced a reversal of late fees and waivers of other expenses students incurred as a result of late payment. Hopefully, similar commitments at the other affected campuses will be forthcoming. Read our most recent communication on this issue with Labor Relations here.

Finally, as many of us head home to be with family for Thanksgiving, our hearts are with those whose homes and families have been affected by the recent wildfires in California. If you have experienced a hardship or mistreatment at work due to the wildfires or subsequent hazardous air quality conditions, please respond to this email and we will connect you with your union steward.

In gratitude and solidarity,

UC Student-Workers Union, UAW Local 2865

P.S. The road to union representation can be long and difficult with a recalcitrant and hostile employer: at Boston College, UAW workers are being punished for even trying to get to the bargaining table. Sign this petition to demand an end to their mistreatment.




Late paycheck? Take action!

Despite our proactive outreach to top UC administrators alerting them to the problems with the UCPath payroll system, we have heard from hundreds of workers who were not paid or were paid the wrong amount.

If you are not being paid, or being paid the wrong amount:

  1. Report your issue to our union. If you have heard anything about pay from your department or UC administrators, let us know in the comments section.
  2. Contact your elected representatives. As a public institution, UC is accountable to the lawmakers we elect, and they need to take action when UC is not paying its workers. We created this statement template that you can copy/paste into the representatives’ contact forms on their web pages. You can also email the text to their provided email.

A few other pieces of information:

  • The new contract recently ratified by union members included a one-time bonus of $100. We have learned that if you were entered into the new UC Path system between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31, you should receive your bonus in your Dec. 1 check.
  • Check whether you’ve been paid correctly by following this easy checklist.

The letter our Executive Board sent to top UC administrators can be found on our website.

*******

I work as an Academic Student Employee (ASE) at UCSB.

November 1st was payday, but the University has not paid me or hundreds of my co-workers. This violates our union contract and creates serious hardships for ASEs:

  • Missing or paying rent late,
  • Being unable to pay for groceries and medication,
  • Paying tuition on credit cards, and
  • Being dropped from classes because tuition is not remitted/paid.

UC’s new payroll system UCPath caused the failure to pay us on time, despite grievances (UCRUCSBUCLAMerced) and a letter to UC’s Senior Leadership urging them to ensure our timely pay. This not only hurts ASEs, but also wastes precious state resources–the California State Auditor projected that UCPath would cost UC $942 million.

Please contact UCSB Chancellor Yang and urge him to pay us immediately and make us whole for any harm resulting from the failure of UCPath.




Check Your Check! Late and Non-Payment Issues with New UC Payroll System

Dear Member,

Are you looking forward to your November 1 paycheck? Me too, but right now I’m worried I’m not going to get paid. That’s because this will be the first check for TAs at UCLA and UCSB under the University’s new UCPath payroll system. UCPath has cost UC nearly $1 billion*, but has been a disaster everywhere it’s been implemented.

So this Thursday (Nov 1st), students at UCSB, UCLA, Riverside, and Merced need to be on alert for underpayment, overpayment, or missing pay altogether.

Hundreds of student workers paid biweekly at UCLA have already missed multiple paychecks since the start of the quarter. At Santa Barbara, students across campus are experiencing delays in tuition remission. Many students have been forced to take out emergency loans and pay tuition on credit cards, and we’ve lost access to benefits that we need to survive. Because of UCPath, I may have to pay for my health insurance out of pocket this term. It’s become so dire that the UCLA administration gave unpaid undergraduate workers the address of a nearby food bank. That’s an outrage.

Yesterday, our union’s Executive Board sent a letter to Dwaine Duckett, Vice President of Human Resources at UC, demanding that the University fix this problem immediately. We also demanded an in-person meeting with Duckett and the head administrators behind UCPath. Union leadership at each of the affected campuses has filed grievances (UCR, UCSB, UCLA, Merced) covering every worker with a bad paycheck or missing benefits, demanding to be made whole. But in order to make sure nobody is left unaccounted for, it is important that you get in touch.

If you work on one of the affected campuses, please consult the pay rates guaranteed by our contract and calculate what you expect to receive in your November 1 paycheck. Keep in mind that your gross November pay should also include a $100 one-time lump sum that we received with the ratification of the new contract.

If your pay or tuition remission is inaccurate or delayed, please fill out this form immediately, and a union steward from your campus will be in touch with you. You should also fill out the form if you experienced any issues that have already been resolved.

In Solidarity,

Griffin Johnson
Union Steward, Department of Film, Television and Digital Media, UCLA

P.S. I hope you got a chance to vote last week in our Union’s vacancy election! You can see the elections results here.

P.P.S. Your union is hiring! See the job call for field organizers on our website and at unionjobs.com.

*https://www.bsa.ca.gov/pdfs/reports/2016-125.2.pdf




October 2018 Vacancy Election Results

We write to announce the results of the recent vacancy election for the statewide Executive Board positions of Northern Vice President, Recording Secretary, and Trustee. The vote totals were:

Northern Vice President

  • Gaelan Ash: 507
  • Marcelo Mendez: 220

Recording Secretary

  • Alli Carlisle: 481
  • Veronica Hamilton: 245

Trustee

  • Andrew Y. Elrod: 458
  • Corey Mengual: 261

Thanks to all those who voted, and congratulations to our newly elected officers!

In solidarity,
Local 2865 Elections Committee




Support the National Prison Strike

Dear Member,

In January, our union’s leadership voted to endorse a national prison labor strike.  Now, the Oakland Local of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) has requested that we stand in solidarity with another Prison Strike set to take place from August 21 through September 9.  Once again, we have voted to endorse this action.

Between August 21 and September 9, incarcerated workers across the country will engage in work-stoppages, sit-ins, and boycotts to spotlight the human rights abuses they endure each day.  Their action is timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Attica Uprising, and the largest prison strike in US history, which took place in September of 2016. Their demands include improved prison conditions, increased access to rehabilitative services, fair compensation for their labor, and reforms to laws that have fueled mass incarceration and stripped incarcerated people of their legal rights.

Endorsing strikes like this lends important support to incarcerated people, and aligns with our union’s promise to seek socially responsible investment and divestment practices at the UC and beyond.  In California, as state investment in public education has plummeted, more and more state funding has been spent locking people up. Incarcerated people have worked in a number of different areas, from making furniture for the UC in the 1980s, to fighting wildland fires today.  The prison system affects many of those who work and study alongside us, which is why the struggle to improve the lives of incarcerated people is directly connected to our own fight for a UC for All.

Our union has added its name to the list of official endorsers of the strike.  If you would like to help more directly, the IWOC has asked individuals to call or send letters to their elected representatives, share the strikers demands, and ask them where they stand on the issue.  A sample script is below.

Solidarity,

Joint Council of UAW Local 2865

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Hello, my name is __________, I am a student worker at the University of California and a constituent of _________.  

I am calling to ask whether or not __________ has taken a position on the National Prison Strike, currently taking place across the country.  Incarcerated people have demanded improved prison conditions, increased access to rehabilitative programs, fair compensation for their labor, and reforms to sentencing and prison litigation laws.

As a public employee of the state of California, it concerns me that men and women are kept in inhumane conditions and given little chance to improve their lives.  I urge __________ to express their support for the prison strike and do fight harder for working people in our state.

Do you know if __________ has plans to endorse?

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Dear __________,

My name is __________.  I am a student-worker at the University of California, and a constituent of __________.

I am writing to ask whether or not __________ has taken a position on the National Prison Strike, currently taking place across the country.  Incarcerated people have demanded improved prison conditions, increased access to rehabilitative programs, fair compensation for their labor, and reforms to sentencing and prison litigation laws.

As a public employee of the state of California, it concerns me that men and women are kept in inhumane conditions and given little chance to improve their lives.  I urge __________ to endorse the prison strike and do fight harder for working people in our state.

Sincerely,

__________

Member, UAW Local 2865




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