Status Quo

Status quo image


When a labor agreement between the University of California and a labor union expires, some of the provisions in the expired contract continue in force and others lapse. The status quo requires the University to maintain the same wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment for represented employees that existed at the time the contract expired, until an agreement with the union is reached.

The status quo period can be a difficult time for campus managers and supervisors. Much of management's discretion over various terms and conditions of employment, wages, and hours, where no notice to the union was required under contract, will cease during status quo. However, not all wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment are subject to bargaining. Some are beyond the scope of bargaining and remain within management's prerogative during the status quo period. This includes decisions about reorganizing services or the organization of activities or programs, hiring decisions, and decisions that are core to the mission of the University. While certain management decisions are beyond the scope of bargaining, the effects of those decisions may be subject to bargaining.

Many "status quo" conditions are reflected in the language of the expired labor agreements, but some are not. When a contract expires, the University cannot change wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment without giving notice to the union and negotiating the change. This includes changes in work hours, sick leave procedures, performance evaluation procedures, work schedules such as shift changes, start and stop time changes, lunch period changes, and employee requests for flexible hours. The general rule is that the current terms and conditions for employees in the bargaining units will continue. However, described below is the application of status quo principles to contract articles of special concern:


The University will continue to allow the use of meeting rooms according to local access rules, union access to new employee orientation as currently provided, and the use of university telephones and email according to the expired contracts.


There will be no employee or union access to the arbitration process for grievances involving matters arising after the expiration of the contract. However, individual employees who are subject to dismissal, disciplinary demotion, medical separation, disciplinary salary reduction and/or suspension of more than five (5) working days after the expiration of the contract have due process through post-deprivation procedures. Please contact your Employee & Labor Relations Consultant for more information on the applicable post-deprivation process for a particular bargaining unit.

University Benefits

The University will continue to provide bargaining unit employees benefits consistent with the dynamic status quo.

Grievance Procedure

The grievance procedure will continue in force. The University will provide paid leave for grievance representatives as described in the expired contracts.

Hours of Work

The University anticipates continuing the provisions of compensatory time-off for overtime payment (CTO) where it currently exists.

Layoff and Reduction in Time

The notice obligations to the unions continue. Also, if the contract provides severance benefits, they continue as part of the status quo.

Leaves of Absence for Union Business

For contracts that have a Union Business Leave provision, employees already on leave will be allowed to continue under continuing terms and conditions of employment for employees.

Payroll Deduction

The University will continue to collect union dues through payroll deductions as described in the appropriate collective bargaining agreement.

Release Time for Bargaining

Designated employees serving on a union bargaining team will continue to be eligible for release time for bargaining as a part of the status quo.

Work Rules

Generally, any changes in work rules must be bargained under status quo.

Violation of Status Quo

Unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment can be cause for a charge of an unfair practice and a violation of the Higher Education Employer Employee Relations Act.  

Resource for Managers and Supervisors

If you have any questions about what your department can and cannot change during the status quo period, please contact your Employee & Labor Relations Consultant.