UPTE Bargaining Update

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Dear colleague:

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

As we informed you, we recently presented the leaders of your union, the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) union, with a final settlement offer that included:

  • Guaranteed 12 percent across-the-board wage increases over the next four years (3% each year), to help ensure that salaries for UC research and technical professionals remain market-competitive;
  • A one-time payment of $1250 (prorated by appointment percentage) for every eligible 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 research and technical employees in UC’s Kaiser and HealthNet Blue & Gold plans.

This offer is consistent with the recommendations of a state-appointed mediator, and very similar to what UC has given many of your UC colleagues, including those in other unions.

Unfortunately, UPTE leaders rejected this offer without allowing you to vote on it.

We believe negotiations with UPTE 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 UPTE-represented research and technical professionals:

  • Pay: A 3 percent salary increase (to appear in your June paycheck);
  • Health benefits: Low-cost, high-value health benefits;
  • Retirement benefits: You will see no change in your pension benefits. Future research and technical 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 base-building increase, and the rates for healthcare benefits reflect 2018 rates. At some point, UC and UPTE 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 limit on health insurance premium increases, and the one-time payment we offered UPTE leaders at the bargaining table. Our final settlement offer was in exchange for a multi-year contract, and to bring negotiations to an end. We believe it was a very fair offer, and we are disappointed UPTE leaders did not accept it or allow you to vote on it, or offer any counterproposal.

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


Peter Chester
Executive Director
UC Systemwide Labor Relations