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Letter to research and technical employees about UC’s latest offer

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Dear research and technical colleagues:

After more than a year and a half of negotiations with the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE), I wanted you to hear directly from the university about our offers to UPTE leaders, which would affect your pay and benefits.

First, I want to thank you for your hard work and dedication in support of UC’s mission. We know you come to work every day committed to doing your best, and we deeply appreciate and value this commitment. We have been trying for many months to recognize your contributions and dedication with an agreement. We have offered a number of proposals that would guarantee fair pay increases and excellent benefits for you and your colleagues, consistent with those for other UC employees.

To make sure you have accurate information about what UC has offered, here is what our latest proposal to UPTE leaders included:

  • Compensation: A 15% pay increase for research and technical employees over the next four years (6% in 2019 and 3% in each of the subsequent three years), plus a one-time payment of $1,250 for all eligible employees upon contract ratification.
  • Health benefits: Quality health benefits at the same rates as other UC employees with similar salaries, plus a $25 cap for any monthly premium increases for UC’s Kaiser and Health Net Blue & Gold plans.
  • Retirement benefits: You will see no change in your pension benefits. Future research and technical employees will have a choice between a traditional pension plan and a 401(k)-style plan, whichever plan they think is best for them. Most employers do not offer a pension, or a choice of retirement benefits.

Negotiations with UPTE have included state-assisted mediation, and UC’s latest offer aligns with the mediator’s recommendations. Throughout bargaining, UPTE leaders have been demanding double-digit pay increases over the term of the agreement, which are financially unrealistic and out-of-line with raises for other employees.

We think our offers have been very fair, and that you deserve the chance to vote on them.

Again, we know how hard you work and we appreciate all you do for the university and the people we serve. We will continue to do everything we can to get you a fair contract as soon as possible, but an agreement requires compromise from both sides.


Peter Chester
Executive Director
UC Systemwide Labor Relations

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