The university thinks it's important to set the record straight on what it has offered AFSCME Service employees during negotiations. UC’s offer provides for wages and benefits as good or better than what other campus-based bargaining units such as research, technical and clerical have already agreed to. UC is working very hard to reach a fair contract, and believes it is time for AFSCME to allow its members to vote on the university’s offer.

Related Links

Highlights of UC's Proposal for Service Employees

Wages 3% wage increase in 2014 and 3.5% wage increase in 2015, 2016 and 2017. This is similar to CUE and UPTE campus-based employees. AFSCME demands 6% annual wage increases — more than any other campus-based employee group has received.
Health Benefits No rate increases in Kaiser and Health Net (pay bands 1 and 2) for the duration of the contract – a benefit no other union received.
Pension Benefits UC has agreed to AFSCME’s request for the same pension benefit formula as CNA and UPTE. Under the pension proposal, all employees are eligible to retire for 1.1% at age 50 and 2.5% at age 60. The cost is 9 percent of pay, the same cost other bargaining units will pay for the same benefits.
Retiree Health Care UC has agreed to AFSCME’s request for the same retiree healthcare eligibility rules as CNA and UPTE, including grandfathering current employees for retiree health eligibility AND UC has frozen the Kaiser rate for the life and duration of the agreement, another benefit no other union has been offered.
Seniority UC has agreed to AFSCME’s request to use seniority provisions for filling open shift assignments.
Layoffs UC has improved protections in the agreement to ensure alternatives to layoffs are explored, including eliminating temporary workers first.
Paid Time Off UC has agreed to AFSCME’s demand to roll back paid time off programs at the medical centers in favor of sick leave and vacation.
Contracting Out Timeline for guaranteed Requests for Proposals transmission and the ability to grieve and arbitrate job displacement provisions.

Important Additional Information About UC-AFSCME Negotiations

As recently as Friday, Jan. 24, UC offered AFSCME service staff many of the same provisions that other unions have agreed to in recent contracts on issues such as pension and retiree health care benefits. Yet AFSCME has refused to accept these proposals. For example, we are offering service employees a 3 percent across-the-board increase in 2013-14 and approximate 3.5 percent base-building increases in each subsequent year through 2016-17.  Earlier this fiscal year, eligible service workers received a 2% step increase. These increases are similar to or slightly exceed increases that other campus-based employees in clerical, research and technical bargaining units will receive.

In addition, UC is offering to freeze AFSCME’s health care costs for its Health Net and Kaiser plans for the life of the agreement in response to AFSCME’s concerns — a benefit we have not offered to any other union. Without increases in the employee share of health care, UC’s wage offer is, in essence, higher.  We have also offered to modify our contract language on contracting out to include advance notification to AFSCME, made additional concessions regarding layoff provisions in order to provide greater job security to service employees, and improved seniority provisions for filling open shift assignments.   

UC has been fair and reasonable throughout these negotiations and is committed to providing equitable compensation to employees based on their required skill sets and responsibilities.  

Additionally, UC’s wage proposal is highly competitive with the market for the skills required of service unit employees and the job duties they perform. In fact, UC service workers pay is already above market in key job categories:

  • Minimum pay for UC food service worker is 21 percent above CSU and 20 percent above market
  • Minimum pay for UC senior custodian is 15 percent higher than at CSU and 3 percent above market  

From UC’s perspective, AFSCME is demanding far more for its members compared to what other employees have received and agreed to. This amounts to special treatment for AFSCME-represented employees, which will create a disparity between the service employees and other employee groups. UC is fully committed to treating AFSCME equitably in comparison to the other unions UC has reached agreements with in the last few months, but it cannot justify creating such disparities.

Instead of seeking agreement, AFSCME has announced it will again ask its members to take a strike vote. AFSCME’s May and November strikes have already forced delays in patient care and interrupted critical campus services, and cost over $30 million. The union is putting patients and students in the middle of a labor dispute for the third time in nine months, despite the UC’s offer of terms that meet or exceed provisions offered to other unions that have agreed to long-term contracts.  

The university has a strong track record of working collaboratively with unions to reach fair contracts. In fact, since October, UC reached six contracts with seven bargaining units covering more than 27,000 nurses, health care professionals, researchers, technical employees, police officers, librarians and lecturers.

We feel employees have waited long enough to have a contract that provides excellent wages and benefits, much like other UC workers have received. But we need AFSCME to show greater flexibility and bargain in good faith.