FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UPTE rejects state assistance for settlement; plans to continue with unlawful strike
University of California officials announced today (May 25) that the University Professional and Technical Employees union (UPTE), representing UC’s research support and technical employees, once again refused to seek assistance from a state mediator to help facilitate an agreement for a new contract. The union informed the university that, rather than participate in mediation, it intends instead to conduct an unlawful strike on Thursday, May 26.
The union rejected the university’s latest comprehensive offer, including wage increases for the next three years, which is substantially equivalent to the wage package in the recent contract agreement for UC service workers.
The union countered with a wage increase proposal, which includes a 3.4% increase in 2004-05 – something the union knows can’t be offered by the university because of lack of state funds for that fiscal year.
Although UPTE consented to the university’s request to meet on Wednesday, the union did not agree to meet on Monday and Tuesday of this week, which allowed only limited time for discussion.
“The university is disappointed UPTE has chosen to engage in unlawful strike actions instead of continued negotiations," said Howard Pripas, UC executive director for labor relations. “We had hoped that the union would have finally agreed to seek the assistance of a third-party state mediator to help resolve the remaining issues.”
In response to the union’s conduct, the university is preparing a complaint with the California Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) against UPTE for both its unlawful May 26 strike plan and its participation in the April 14, 2005 strike.
Each UC campus and medical center will take appropriate steps to ensure that the strike will not disrupt normal operations.
For more information about the university’s negotiations with UPTE, go to: http://atyourservice.ucop.edu/employees/policies/labor_relations/bargaining_updates/rx/bargaining_update.html
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