April 12, 2013 (Update #14)
UC has been working hard since last summer to negotiate a new contract for patient care technical employees. We had hoped to have an agreement by now and are disappointed one has not been reached.
Delivering quality patient care is our highest priority, and we know that our staff is critical to this mission. We will continue to work hard toward an agreement.
We have proposed an attractive comprehensive four-year contract that includes:
- A competitive total economic package with wage increases, excellent health care, and good retiree health and pension benefits that few organizations offer.
- Good working conditions in a fulfilling work environment.
We believe we've been fair and reasonable in these negotiations — and we need AFSCME to be willing to compromise.
Let's talk about the key issues:
- AFSCME thinks its members should pay less than their colleagues for the same benefits. UC believes AFSCME's position is patently unfair, and is not in the best interest of the long-term health of the University's retirement programs.
- Like many other organizations, the University is engaged in pension reform to ensure its program remains healthy so it can provide pension benefits to current and future employees.
- AFSCME objected to UC's pension reform plan, saying they will not agree to any changes. The University offered two alternatives to try to move discussions forward; AFSCME flatly rejected them all.
- Instead of offering a different alternative, AFSCME demands no changes on retirement benefits for future hires even though they are important to preserve the excellent benefits UC employees enjoy.
- The University believes that economic issues — wages, health care and retirement benefits — must be considered comprehensively. AFSCME is looking to cherry pick specific issues, a position we see as short-sighted.
- Unions acting on behalf of 14 bargaining units have already agreed to UC's approach to retirement benefits. AFSCME has not.
- UC is a community of faculty, staff, retirees, students and advocates that must work together to chart a stable course that preserves the quality of the university.
We hope AFSCME is as passionate as we are in this goal, and will partner with us for an agreeable solution.
We want to assure our employees that the talent and skill they bring to the medical centers every day is valued and appreciated. Our patient care staff play a vital role in delivering excellent care that improves the health of so many Californians.
Thank you for this public service to the people of California.