University of California Service Workers Approve Contract
Unionized service workers at University of California campuses and hospitals have approved a new three-year contract, officials for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 announced on Monday, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The contract establishes a $9 minimum hourly wage and gives all 7,300 workers represented by the union a one-time $250 payment. The union called the one-time payment "retroactive pay, and UC officials described [it] as a contract-ratification bonus," according to the Bee (Rapaport, Sacramento Bee, 5/10).
The contract also provides annual pay raises of 3% for the first two years and 4% in the final year of the contract, provided that the Legislature agrees to funding increases recommended for UC by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 5/10). If UC does not receive the funding and the raises do not occur in the final year of the contract, the union can resume wage negotiations with UC. University and union officials said that the union could strike if UC does not agree to requested pay increases.
The contract also allows workers to advance in their job by providing three days paid training and additional opportunities for internal promotions, union officials said.
In addition, the lowest-paid janitors, cooks and bus drivers in the union will receive guaranteed annual pay raises, no-cost meals on the job and supplemental pay for evening and weekend shifts.
The new contract will expire Jan. 31, 2008 (Sacramento Bee, 5/10).
The contract agreement comes after AFSCME staged a one-day strike on April 14 to protest low wages.
Union officials said UC service workers had not received a raise in about two years, and members' average annual salaries were about $23,317 (California Healthline, 4/15).