For more than a year since October 2011, UC has been negotiating with the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) union for a new contract covering UC's 3,300 healthcare professionals.

UC and the union continued discussing compensation during their most recent two days of bargaining Jan. 31-Feb. 1.

Although tentative agreement has been reached on more than half the articles in the contract, UC is very disappointed at the lack of agreement regarding post-employment benefits and employee compensation.

Post-employment benefits

  • In 2010, after months of careful study and extensive consultation with the university community, UC adopted a series of reforms to its post-employment benefits. These reforms are aimed at maintaining good and financially sustainable post-employment pension and health benefits for employees.

  • UC's post-employment benefits proposal already applies to the general UC employee population, and 14 UC bargaining units also have agreed to the changes, which include increasing employee contributions to the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) from 5 percent to 6.5 percent, and increasing UC's contribution to 12 percent, effective July 1, 2013.

  • By contrast, UPTE is asking to be treated differently and wants pension contributions for its members to stay at the current level of 5 percent of pay. UC objects to this because it is unfair to other employees who will be contributing more.

  • UPTE has been unwilling to participate in substantive bargaining over the University's proposal on post-employment benefits even though the University submitted this proposal on October 20, 2011.

  • UC has even gone so far as to invite UPTE to meet with UC leaders and the UC actuary to discuss post-employment benefits.

Compensation

  • UC health care professionals play a vital role in delivering quality care at our medical centers and campuses, and UC is committed to providing a competitive compensation package to retain our dedicated staff and attract new talent.

  • UC has proposed a five-year agreement with annual wage increases and excellent benefits that justly compensate employees for their hard work, and is both fair and fiscally responsible.

  • UC believes in a holistic approach to financial issues, and has conveyed to UPTE that any agreement on compensation must include an agreement on post-employment benefits.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for March 11-12 and UC will continue its efforts to reach a fair contract with UPTE.