FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Below is a statement from the University of California regarding negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) concerning raises for UC custodians and other lower-paid UC employees.
For months, UC has been meeting with its labor unions regarding special raises for lower-paid UC employees.
UC recently reached an agreement with the Coalition of University Employees union regarding special raises for more than 11,800 UC clerical employees, and also provided similar raises to approximately 4,000 non-represented lower-paid employees.
UC has also proposed similar wage increases for approximately 19,500 other lower-paid UC employees represented by the University Professional and Technical Employees and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees unions.
Regarding negotiations with AFSCME, there is no dispute that raises are needed and deserved, which is why UC has proposed $8.9 million in salary increases for 14,300 AFSCME-represented UC patient care and services employees, including custodians. These increases would be in addition to those already provided, or scheduled to be provided, under current labor contracts for UC service workers -- approximately 4% per year for the remaining two years of a three-year contract.
One of the key obstacles to an agreement, and to implementation of raises for custodians and other AFSCME-represented employees, is the union’s refusal to distribute the raises equitably.
UC’s proposal would provide $4.3 million to be distributed to nearly 3,000 custodians, with the majority of the money going to improve those salaries that are most below market. AFSCME continues to refuse our proposed distribution, and instead is demanding a distribution that would give disproportionately high raises to custodians at Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and UC Santa Barbara – locations with salaries already above market.
UC cannot support the union’s distribution plan that disproportionately benefits custodians at three campuses at the expense of lower-paid employees at other locations.
UC’s proposal is a fair one that distributes raises equitably so that UC’s lower-paid workers throughout the entire state benefit.
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