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California | Santa Cruz Indymedia | Education & Student Activism | Labor & Workers | Front Page

Mon Feb 16 2009
Service Workers Ratify Historic Contract With UC
Mon Feb 16 2009
UC Service Workers Overwhelmingly Vote Yes On Historic Contract Agreement
After a year and a half of bargaining, custodians, gardeners, food service workers and drivers organized through the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299 voted to accept a historic agreement with the University of California (UC). This new agreement includes wages increases over five years of 4%, 3%, 3%, 3%, and 3%. UC service workers will have a state wide minimum wage that reaches $14.00/hour by the end of the contract. The contract also includes the adoption of a pay system that gives employees credit for their service and dedication to the University. Read more

UC Berkeley gardener Hank Chapot comments, "Though this offer, coupled with the security of being a UC employee, is touted as being generous, it barely makes up for 20 years of flat wages and ever increasing fees for health care, pensions and other workplace fees. Even with this new contract, UC workers’ pay remains below comparable public sector jobs."

Shelley Nielsen, UC’s latest chief negotiator, said in a prepared statement, “We are very pleased to have reached what we believe is a fair agreement…” The irony is not lost on AFSCME negotiators, one of whom reacted by asking, “if management thinks this is a fair agreement, then, what in hell were those completely unacceptable and insulting 1 percent offers these past 14 months?”

Previous coverage: UC Service Workers Sit-In at Chairman of the Regents Richard Blum's Office || UC low-wage workers visit new UC President Yudof's mansion || 8,500 UC Service Workers Strike for Five Days || UC Workers and Students Block California Highway 1