Bonus Update: Finance and Administration Sources Confirm Bonus will NOT be Paid

In phone calls today UCW leaders and staff were told by officials at the state's Department of Finance and Administration that the proposed $50 per year "recession stipend" will not be paid. Although no public statements have been released, sources confirmed that they were "100 percent sure" the bonus is not happening.

This news comes after campus workers have gone four years without a pay raise, and recent changes in health benefits resulting in insurance that covers less while costing more. "Our already thin paychecks are getting thinner, and now the bone the legislature threw us in June just got snatched away," explained UCW-CWA President Tom Anderson who works as a staff member in Facilities Services at UT Knoxville.

Announcing UCW-CWA's Endorsed Candidates for Fall 2010 Election!

For the first time in our 10-year history, United Campus Workers is formally endorsing candidates and offering specific support to them.  These endorsements were approved by the Executive Board pursuant to recommendations from the affected members.  We have posted survey responses from those candidates statewide who have chosen to respond, and you can see those online at .

Layoffs at the UTHSC

Layoffs began at the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis last Wednesday, August 11, 2010.  The UTHSC has chosen not to use stimulus funds to save jobs and has instead chosen this very negative path.

Check out union leader Michelle Burrell, who is one of the terminated employees, speak out about this injustice and what UCW's demands are for rectification in the following video.  Additionally, below the video is a letter sent from the union to UT President Jan Simek and UTHSC Chancellor Steve Schwab.

Paths to Power- Organizing without Collective Bargaining

Opinion Piece by 
Tom Anderson, UCW President
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A Collective Bargaining Agreement- the Holy Grail of union organizing, the ultimate goal, right?

Certainly it means inclusion in the labor laws of this country and recognition of a basic human right.

We must fight for it, and UCW is committed to winning collective bargaining for public workers in Tennessee.

But will a Collective Bargaining Agreement, or "CBA," fix all the problems?  Almost certainly not.

State Budget Passed- Includes "Workload Stipend"

Last Thursday night the State Senate passed a budget (30-3), and the State House followed suit on Friday afternoon (94-0).

Even though we did not cause this "great recession," working and middle class folks have certainly borne the brunt of its hard times. And as the recession continues, another year has come without a pay raise and hundreds of higher education workers face layoffs between now and when federal stimulus monies run out in June 2011. Despite these very difficult circumstances, our union has been able to force real progress this year

Public workers need an equal dollar service payment!

Already public workers and desperately needed programs have taken drastic cutbacks. Our state's teachers, higher education staff and faculty, and state agency employees have borne the brunt of Tennessee's state revenue crisis. Higher ed workers are facing additional layoffs at UTHSC in Memphis, at community colleges like Roane State, with more job cuts threatened for hundreds maybe thousands next year.

In the face of all of this we have done the only thing we can: stand together and fight back. In these last few days of the 2010 General Assembly we have real opportunities for our campaign to win major victories. One of the key fights will be winning passage of an equal dollar one-time payment to all public workers.

The Pellissippi State Organizing Drive

The past several weeks UCW has been doing outreach to Pellissippi State staff and faculty about the work of Tennessee’s higher education union.

UCW-CWA to Nashville: Workers didn't cause this crisis, cuts to workers won't fix it!

Media outlets are reporting that state legislators and Governor Bredesen are considering a pay cut of 5% for all state employees, including staff and faculty at Tennessee's public universities, colleges and technical schools. Many of the details of the proposals remain unknown at this hour. The Governor offered the pay reduction as the alternative to closing a sales tax loophole on large ticket items over $3,200 (such as jewelry, fur coats, top-end furniture, large business purchases, etc.).

UCW-CWA adamantly opposes this pay cut proposal. Public workers did not cause this crisis and further pay reductions to working- and middle-class higher education employees, teachers and other public employees will not provide lasting solutions. Go to to send an email to legislators about this issue.

Getting the conversation started

Its been a little over 4 months since UCW moved to our new website on the awesome Drupal platform (if that's the right technical term I have no clue.)  With the aim of getting this blog started, I felt that someone should do a first post.  As a senior UCW organizer, I thought I'd take a stab at it.

We are entering the final stretch of the 2010 legislative session.  What a year it has been thus far.