Healthcare professionals at UC San Diego and other University of California campuses statewide announced today they have reached a tentative agreement with the university system over wage increases and pension- related concerns.
University Professional & Technical Employees/CWA 9119 has about 15,000 researchers, technical employees and healthcare workers. They are set to vote next week on the tentative contract with the UC system, which includes an 11.5- to-13 percent cost-of-living increase with step increases over four years, according to the UPTE-CWA.
The proposed agreement also preserves the university's retirement system on a single tier through additional employee contributions, union officials said.
"The historic agreement is a commitment to preserving the University of California as the world's premiere academic institution," UPTE President Jelger Kalmijn said. "Our bargaining team made a responsible proposal to contribute an additional 1 percent to the pension fund in exchange for UC agreeing to keep all members on a single plan, and UC has agreed."
University of California management had initially proposed a two-tier system, which union officials said would have reduced benefits for current and future employees. UPTE rejected that proposal by joining in solidarity with striking workers at the three UCSD hospitals and university medical centers elsewhere in the state last spring, union officials said.
"Finding cures for cancer or heart disease, creating the next version of the Internet or understanding global warming, require long-term dedication of knowledgeable staff, and retirement security is a crucial part of what draws these staff to UC," chief bargainer Wendi Felson said.
No comment from UC adminstrators was immediately available. --City News Service