A Letter to AFSCME Colleagues

Dear colleague:

I am writing to let you know that UC is increasing your wages and providing you and your service worker colleagues with good health and retirement benefits.

As we informed you, we recently presented AFSCME with a final settlement offer that included:

  • Guaranteed 3 percent across-the-board wage increases every year for the next four years;
  • A one-time payment of $750 (prorated by appointment percentage) for every non-probationary, career service employee, once a contract is ratified;
  • Excellent health and retirement benefits at the same rates as other UC employees with similar salaries. UC also proposed a limit of $25 per month on health insurance premium increases for service employees in UC’s Kaiser and HealthNet Blue & Gold plans. A typical service employee would pay just $34 a month for Kaiser for themselves and their children.

This offer is very similar to what UC has given many of your UC colleagues, including those in other unions. Unfortunately, AFSCME rejected this offer.

We believe negotiations with AFSCME have taken much longer than they should, and it has been too long since you have received a raise. Accordingly, we are implementing the following for all UC service workers:

  • Wage increase: A 2 percent pay increase. Overall compensation for UC service staff is currently above market and this pay increase helps ensure salaries for our service staff remain market-competitive
  • Health benefits: Low-cost, high-value health benefits at the same rates as other UC employees with similar salaries;
  • Retirement benefits: You will see no change in your pension benefits. Future service employees will have a choice between UC’s pension plan or a 401(k)-style plan, whichever plan they think is best for them.

The pay increase is a one-time increase, and the rates for healthcare benefits reflect 2017-18 fiscal year rates. At some point, UC and AFSCME will need to return to the bargaining table in order to negotiate any additional increases as part of a multi-year contract.

You may be wondering why we are not implementing the raises, the limit on health insurance costs, and the one-time payment we recently offered AFSCME at the bargaining table. Our final settlement offer was in exchange for a multi-year contract, and to finally bring negotiations to an end. We believe it was a very fair offer, and we are disappointed AFSCME did not accept it.

Lastly, AFSCME leaders have asked you and your co-workers, including patient care staff, to authorize a strike, where you will actually lose pay for the days you are out. As I stated in my previous letter, striking is very serious and we strongly disagree with AFSCME’s decision to impact patients, students and the UC community with a potential strike as a negotiating tactic.

Last week I shared with you important information about striking, and I have attached it again to this letter. Please read it carefully and be sure you understand the implications of striking, and decide for yourself if you think a strike is the right thing to do.

As always, thank you for everything you do for the university and the people we serve.


Dwaine B. Duckett
Vice President
UC Systemwide Human Resources