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UC reaches contract agreement with union for research & technical employees

University of California officials announced on March 23 that UC has reached a five-year agreement with the University Professional and Technical Employees union for UC’s approximately 9,000 research and technical employees, which include staff research associates, museum scientists, health and safety technicians, and laboratory assistants.

“UPTE-represented employees work hard to support the university, and play a particularly important role in helping UC carry out its research mission, and we are very pleased to have reached an agreement that acknowledges their contributions,” said Dwaine Duckett, UC vice president for systemwide human resources. “The university also commends the union for recognizing the current fiscal crisis by ratifying a contract that gives UC the operational flexibility it needs to cope with these very difficult economic times.”

Key features of the contract include:


  • For 2008-9 and 2009-10 fiscal years: no wage increases;
  • For 2010-11: 2.5 percent across-the-board wage increases and one step increase. There will be 0.5 percent available for equity increases (any unspent funds will be rolled into subsequent across-the-board increases).
  • For 2011-12 and 2012-13: 3 percent across-the-board wage increases and one step increase.

Medical benefits: Research and technical employees will continue to enjoy the same excellent medical and retirement benefits provided by UC and will contribute to monthly premiums and other benefits costs on the same basis as other employees. The parties agree to negotiate any monthly premium cost increases over 18 percent for three consecutive years, and any substantial structural changes in UC’s medical benefits.

Pension benefits: The union agrees to UC’s resumption of contributions to its pension plan this spring. Contributions will begin with a 2 percent redirection of employee funds currently going into UC’s defined contribution plan, followed by an additional 1 percent employee contribution in 2011 and 2012, as required of other staff employees and if UC contributes at least as much. Any reductions in pension benefits must be negotiated.

New joint committee regarding layoffs: In the interest of strengthening labor-management collaboration, UC and UPTE agree to establish a joint committee to explore ways to re-employ UPTE employees who are laid off from their jobs.

Health and safety: The agreement includes new language that emphasizes UC’s commitment to ensuring a safe work environment and requires employees to report any concerns regarding workplace safety. It also provides release time for UPTE-designated health and safety employee representatives and union access to health and safety information pursuant to law.

Duration: The contract will be effective through June 30, 2013.

If you have any questions about this agreement, please contact your Labor and Employee Relations Analyst.

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