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UC, unions reach agreements in tough economic climate

For the first time in many years, the University of California has finalized multi-year contracts with its major unions.

UC announced today, Nov. 8, 2011, that it has reached a tentative five-year deal with the Coalition of University Employees (CUE) on wages, benefits and working conditions for more than 12,500 clerical employees systemwide. CUE members will vote on the contract proposal this month.

The university is committed to building cooperative, productive relationships with its unions.

“One of the objectives in our human resources strategic plan is to produce a more stable, predictable labor relations environment,” said Dwaine B. Duckett, vice president of systemwide human resources. “Closing contracts and open issues is key to that objective. We look forward to building upon this positive momentum and charting a course on issues of mutual interest.”

Among recent accomplishments, the university and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in October resolved key issues of wages, benefits and working conditions for more than 20,000 employees systemwide. (Read the full story on the UC Newsroom website.)

In addition, in the past few months, UC finalized agreements with other unions representing four systemwide bargaining units. For more details, visit the links below:

  • California Nurses Association (CNA): The university and CNA reached agreement in May on wages and benefits for the more than 9,000 nurses who serve patients at UC’s medical and student health centers.
  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT): The university and AFT in October completed two separate agreements, one for UC’s more than 3,000 lecturers and the other for roughly 350 librarians.

These agreements pave the way for most of UC’s union-represented employees to pay the same health insurance rates and make the same pension contributions in the coming year as the general UC employee population.

The university will continue to pay the lion’s share of health costs — about 87 percent on average — and increase its pension contributions this year and next year.

More details about the tentative agreement with CUE will be available at a later date.

“We are very pleased that we have a tentative agreement on a five-year deal with CUE and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters,” Duckett said. “This type of long-term thinking by both sides contributes to the stability of the university.”

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