A Letter to Service Unit Employees - English Language Version

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Dear colleague:

Your union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), has announced it will be asking you and other AFSCME-represented UC employees to vote next week to authorize union leaders to be able to call a strike sometime in the future.

Striking is serious, and we think it is highly inappropriate for AFSCME to threaten patients and students with a potential strike as a negotiating tactic — our patients and students are not bargaining chips.

To help you make an informed choice about voting, attached is some very important information regarding the implications of a strike. Please read it carefully, and feel free to contact your local human resources office if you have any questions.

Every one of our employees plays a vital role in delivering the excellent public service UC is known for, and UC has been working hard for many months to negotiate contracts that fairly compensate you for your skill, your hard work, your dedication, and your service to the university and the public.

After more than a year of bargaining, on April 6 UC presented AFSCME with its final settlement offer on a new contract for service employees. Highlights of our offer are as follows:

  • Enhanced Wages: 3 percent across-the-board wage increases for all service workers in each of the next four years. This is an enhancement over UC’s previous offer, and these proposed increases are consistent with increases for other represented and non-represented employees. Wages for UC service workers are currently above market and UC’s offer would help ensure that service workers’ salaries remain competitive.
  • Health Benefits: Low-cost, high-value health benefits at the same rates as other UC employees with similar salaries. UC has also proposed a limit of $25 per month on 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.
  • Retirement Benefits: Current employees will see no change in their pension benefits. Future employees hired after a new contract is ratified will have a choice between a traditional pension or a 401(k)-style plan. Each employee would choose between the two plan options. Few employers offer their employees this choice, or a traditional pension. Unions representing UC clerical staff, lecturers, librarians and campus physicians have all agreed to UC’s retirement choice program.
  • Lump sum Payment: If AFSCME agrees, every non-probationary, career service employee would receive a one-time payment of $750 (prorated by appointment percentage) once a contract is ratified.

It is time for an agreement, and for you to receive the guaranteed wage increases, and excellent medical and retirement benefits we are offering. You deserve a contract, not a strike.

Thank you for all you do.

Sincerely,

Dwaine B. Duckett
Vice President
UC Systemwide Human Resources