Dwaine Duckett, the University of California's vice president for systemwide human resources and programs, issued the following statement today (July 24) about the status of UC’s negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME):

"The University of California notified AFSCME on July 24 that it is implementing its last offer on wages and benefits for more than 12,000 patient care employees.

"UC has negotiated with AFSCME in good faith since June 2012. We have offered fair contract proposals with wage increases, excellent benefits and responsible pension reform — to which AFSCME repeatedly objected.

"Having completed all stages of the bargaining process, including state-assisted mediation and fact finding, the university is legally entitled to implement its last proposal. We would have preferred to reach a settlement, but this implementation provides our patient care staff with fair wage increases and good benefits now, rather than forcing them to continue waiting through stalled negotiations.

"The key hurdle in these contract negotiations has been pension reform. Like other institutions, the University of California is implementing changes that are crucial to protecting the long-term viability of its retirement programs while still providing attractive benefits to employees.

"Eight other unions, representing 14 labor units, already have agreed to these reforms, which also apply to non-unionized faculty and staff. These reforms also are similar to what the state of California implemented for other state employees. AFSCME has refused these terms and is looking for a special deal; we believe that's patently unfair to other UC workers.

"AFSCME held a two-day strike in May at all five UC medical centers and student health centers. This strike was not about patient care, but about AFSCME leadership's objection to reasonable pension reform. We believe this action was unfair to the people we are here to serve, and we want to thank the overwhelming number of employees who put their patients first and crossed the picket line to come to work.

"In late June, AFSCME leaders requested to meet with UC on July 11, stating that the union would have new proposals to present on pension benefits. At that meeting, the union discussed an arrangement that would be more advantageous to AFSCME employees than other UC employees. We declined this idea because we believe it would be fundamentally unfair to give the members of one union a better arrangement than that available to members of other unions, as well as non-represented staff."


UC has implemented the following changes for AFSCME patient care employees:

  • A guaranteed step increase of 2 percent for eligible employees on or about July 1, 2013, and a guaranteed wage increase of 1.5 percent on or about Oct. 1, 2013. This is in addition to wage increases patient care employees received in each of the last two years.
  • The 2013 medical, dental and vision benefits and contribution rates for employees and their families. These benefits are the same as for other UC employees.
  • Attractive pension and retiree health benefits, and implementation of UC’s post-employment benefits program, which includes:
    • Employees hired before July 1, 2013: UC’s contribution increases from 10 percent to 12 percent, and employee contributions rise from 5 percent to 6.5 percent.
    • Employees hired on or after July 1, 2013 will receive a slightly modified tier of pension benefits. This new tier does not apply to employees hired before July 1, 2013.
    • Revised eligibility rules for retiree healthcare.
  • A paid time off (PTO) program at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA and UCSF medical centers, where it currently applies to non-represented employees. PTO combines vacation and sick leave into one leave bank that allows the employee greater flexibility in using his/her paid leave.

More information: http://ucal.us/PatientCareTechs