Given the lack of progress at the bargaining table, the University of California has decided to pursue a state declaration of impasse in negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) for a new contract covering service employees.

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The university has worked very hard to reach agreement with AFSCME over a successor contract since October and is disappointed an agreement has not been reached.

Over the past six months, UC has tried to work through contract terms and even presented multiple proposals on the key issue of post-employment benefits to advance discussions. AFSCME has rejected the university’s approach to pension reform without offering an alternative.

An impasse declaration is not a move UC makes lightly, as is reflected by the 36 bargaining sessions that the university and union have held. Nevertheless, UC believes that seeking an impasse declaration from the state Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) will allow an impartial state mediator to assist the two sides in resolving their differences and move closer to an agreement.

The university asked AFSCME during the March 26-27 and April 17, 2013 bargaining sessions to join it in filing for a formal impasse declaration. AFSCME declined.

The university will provide an update on PERB’s decision on UC’s request for an impasse declaration.

UC remains committed to resolving outstanding issues with AFSCME and reaching a multi-year contract that is fair to both employees and UC.

For more news and other bargaining updates, visit http://ucal.us/UCService.