The University of California is disappointed that AFSCME has chosen to strike, despite the court's ruling prohibiting such activity.
More importantly, we regret that we have not been able to reach an agreement with the union and hope its leadership will return to the bargaining table so we can continue our discussions. Our employees deserve good contracts and they deserve them now. Our offers would result in wage increases worth well over $125 million and good benefits.
Highlights of UC's offers include:
-- Patient care employees: Wage increases of more than 26 percent over the next five years, totaling $127 million.
-- Service employees: Increases in minimum hourly rates from $10.28 to $11.50 or $12 depending on location. If UC's offer is accepted, increases for service employees would total approximately 8 percent for the October 2007-September 2008 year alone, given other increases already provided.
-- Health benefits: UC would continue to pay the vast majority of the cost of employees' health benefits -- more than 93 percent for workers earning $40,000 or less -- and employee premiums would be based on a sliding scale so that lower paid employees, like our service workers, pay lower monthly premiums than other staff. UC's proposals also limit the amount of employee premium costs the university can implement without bargaining.
-- Pension benefits: Employees would continue to get UC's gold-standard pension benefits, which they currently do not contribute toward the cost of -- something virtually unheard of among U.S. employers. UC has also stipulated that any employee contributions will be negotiated with AFSCME.
More information about UC's proposals and the illegality of the strike at: www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/18206