After more than two years of sometimes tense negotiations, the University of California and its healthcare workers and researchers reached a tentative agreement on pension and wage issues.
About 15,000 members of the University Professional & Technical Employees union will vote next week to ratify the proposed contract, which calls for an 11.5% to 13% cost-of-living increase over four years, according to union President Jelger Kalmijn.
The UC system has been seeking pension reform—maintaining existing pension benefits for current employees but establishing a different plan for new hires.
The healthcare worker union rejected that, Kalmijn said, offering to take a 1% wage cut in return for keeping the single-tier pension system for union employees.
UC spokeswoman Shelly Meron would not confirm the details of the plan, parts of which may require approval of the Board of Regents.
“It’s been a long road,” Meron siad. “We are pleased that we were able to negotiate a fair agreement with our employees.”
Kalmijn credited new UC President Janet Napolitano with breaking through the stalemate that had been hampering negotiations.
“It’s a complete turnaround,” he said. “She’s clearly taking a position that she wants a collaborative relationship with employees. To her credit, the university will fare much better.”
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times