Bargaining Update Around CWA - TVO, Audubon, and UPTE-CWA.
After 11 weeks on the picket line, CWA Canada Local 30213 members at TV Ontario (TVO) have voted to accept a new collective bargaining agreement. The contract includes a wage increase of 7.7% over three years, a $500 training budget per employee, and voluntary buyout packages. It also improves access to permanent job opportunities for temporary staff.
The workers at TVO showed courage and resolve in a difficult fight against an employer that was looking for major concessions at the bargaining table.
Attendees at the 2023 Audubon Leadership Conference in Colorado learned as much about labor contracts as conservation efforts last week. The union employees of the National Audubon Society brought their fight for a fair contract to the conference, holding rallies and educating attendees from Audubon chapters across the country about their struggle for a fair contract that will strengthen the organization.
The union members, represented by the Bird Union-CWA Local 1180, have been working to negotiate a first contract with Audubon for 20 months. At the leadership conference, they called on Audubon CEO Dr. Elizabeth Grey to stop ducking her responsibility to settle a fair contract with a billboard truck that brought the workers’ message directly to national and chapter leadership.
The workers won a critical victory last month when the NLRB determined that Audubon violated federal labor law during its negotiations with the Bird Union-CWA by bargaining in bad faith and violating the rights of its workers. Earlier this year, Audubon rolled out new, enhanced benefits only to non-union staff while withholding the benefits from union staff, then presented them to the union as contract proposals and urged the union to quickly accept the substandard and incomplete contract in order to access the new benefits.
“At the bargaining table, we’ve been fighting for the benefits that our families need, like expanding paid parental leave beyond the two weeks we currently have,” said Lindsy Buckland, a member of the bargaining committee. “While dragging out negotiations, Audubon expanded parental leave benefits for non-union staff but denied that benefit to us. For my coworker who had a baby this year, that is time that they will never get back with their family.”
Members of the Bird Union-CWA march on the Audubon Leadership Conference in Estes Park, Colo.
UPTE-CWA Local 9119 members across the University of California (UC) system have been joining together to fight for improvements to pay and working conditions.
Recently, after coping with excessive staff turnover, increasing responsibilities, and high inflation, research associates from the UC Davis Genome Center sent a letter requesting an equity increase for all UPTE-represented staff members. Management responded positively with a 6% raise for the majority of lab members, excluding probationary employees who were new to the lab.
Audiologists at UC San Diego organized to address the low pay and high turnover rates that were impacting the quality of care they could provide. Together, as a union, they researched market conditions, creating a comprehensive spreadsheet that demonstrated how their compensation fell far behind other regional employers, contributing to turnover that hurts UC patients. After submitting their research and proposal to management, and making it clear that they were prepared to stand together until the issues were addressed, they secured a 17% across the board raise.
For months, optometrists at UC San Francisco (UCSF) have been bargaining with UC for an agreement that properly recognizes market conditions for the important work they do. Management has been dragging its heels, so optometrists showed up in force at a recent UC Regents Health Services Committee meeting to speak about the important work they do and their need for fairer workplaces. At the meeting, the workers presented a photo petition asking UC management to engage in good-faith bargaining.
Over the summer, UCSF Campus social workers mobilized to address inadequate compensation. They had been told for years that raises weren't possible because funding for campus social work positions comes from the City and County of San Francisco or other external sources. After delivering a petition with over 100 signatures to the chair of the psychiatry department demanding pay equity, they won pay increases of 14%-15% for most workers. They will continue to fight to secure equitable pay and stop misclassification for those job titles that were not included in the raises.
Also at UCSF, physician assistants are fighting for solutions that will improve patient care and better support frontline providers. Five months ago, they met with management to present their demands on recruitment, retention, and pay equity issues and have yet to receive a response. Last week, members distributed flyers outside of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Mission Bay Campus to highlight the ways that these unresolved issues impact the care that their patients rely on them for.
UPTE-CWA Local 9119 members who work as physician assistants distributed flyers to highlight the ways that recruitment, retention, and pay equity issues impact patient care.
This post originally appeared on cwa-union.org.