On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the UC Office of the President released a statement announcing tentative four-year agreements with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union that represents approximately 26,000 UC patient care and service workers statewide.
This battle had been ongoing for two years. After AFSCME’s strikes against UC outsourcing last quarter, the new agreement will curb outsourcing and bring jobs back to UC workers. The new contract will “prohibit layoffs as a result of subcontracting decisions and (create) career employment opportunities at UC by placing additional restrictions on UC’s ability to contract out service unit work,” UCOP said in the statement.
The agreement will provide health benefits for patient care and service workers at the same graduated salary-based rates as other employees. This will also ensure that new hires receive the same pension benefits as current AFSCME-represented employees. “These agreements provide hardworking UC employees with the benefits and protections they deserve, and it moves UC closer to being the kind of employer we need to be,” stated UC Board of Regents Chair John A. Perez.
In the next few weeks, AFSCME-represented patient care and service workers will vote to ratify these contracts. In addition to providing benefits and preventing UC outsourcing, the contracts will also provide various wage increases based on experience for workers.
Peter Chester, the UC’s executive director of labor relations said in the statement, “We are pleased that after working with AFSCME leadership to address joint concerns and resolve our outstanding differences, we are able to meet the needs of our valued patient care and service workers as well as those of the University.”