Dear Colleague,

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We appreciate all that you do to keep our campuses and medical centers operating smoothly. From mailrooms to dining halls to our campus grounds, your efforts and those of other service workers every day support UC’s mission to educate students and serve patients — and we want you to know it does not go unnoticed.

As we begin negotiations with your union representative AFSCME for a new contract, we want you to know that our goal is to reach a fair, comprehensive agreement that ensures market-competitive pay and good working conditions for you and your colleagues. As you know, the university needs to juggle multiple priorities, from student tuition to employee salaries, within a finite budget. We strive for contracts that provide fair pay and good benefits for our staff, while preserving the long-term health of UC.

We also will do everything we can to complete negotiations as quickly as we can.

UC works hard to be a good employer and to recognize employees for their dedication and contributions. Here are some examples:

  • Market-competitive pay: We conduct market studies to ensure we fairly compensate our staff. We also may review salaries for comparable positions at state and local agencies. The annual salary for a UC service employee currently ranges from about $33,000 for a newer worker to $79,400 for a senior worker. Here’s how UC salaries compare to salaries for State of California employees in similar positions:
    • UC senior custodian average: $40,444
    • State of California average: $33,844
    • UC senior cook average: $42,542
    • State of California average: $36,382
    • UC security guard average: $40,700
    • State of California average: $29,467
  • Ensuring your pay stays competitive: UC provided regular increases to service staff the last several years to ensure your pay remains competitive. 
  • Quality health and pension benefits: In addition to fair pay, UC also rewards employees with generous health and retirement benefits:
    • A choice in health plans: UC offers six excellent health plans to choose from. Most employers offer fewer.
    • Affordable healthcare: The typical UC service employee pays $420 a year for health insurance for themselves and their family. The average American worker typically pays over $5,200 for less generous health coverage — just for themselves. 
    • Pension benefits: UC offers a traditional pension that features a guaranteed payment to help you plan for a secure retirement. UC is proposing to add a plan where employees hired on or after July 1, 2016 can choose between the traditional pension plan or a 401(k)-style plan, whichever fits their needs and preferences. Few employers offer this choice, or a traditional pension.

We’ll provide updates to you as negotiations get underway.

Again, thank you for all you do to support UC and serve our students, faculty, staff and patients.


Dwaine B. Duckett

Vice President of Human Resources