Letters to the Editor: UC defends its contract offer in labor talks to avert a strike
By Michael D. Shear,
For the Record
UC President Jerry Brown’s offer to the UC Board of Regents to renew its multi-year contract expired June 30. The Regents and their collective bargaining representative are now pursuing a second contract that would include two percent wage increases in the first year to compensate for falling enrollment and to fund some of the $800 million-plus pension deficit.
The current contract, which already includes a 2 percent raise, is about to expire. Negotiations about a new contract are expected to take place in early November. The Regents had planned to implement two different pay scales for UC faculty on Dec. 31, but a few weeks ago told faculty they would receive their first pay increase in a decade on Sept. 1 and raise the pay scale to $60,000 by the end of the year.
The UC Senate unanimously passed a resolution on May 6 encouraging the board of regents and professors to go to the bargaining table to avoid a strike. The Senate also passed a resolution on May 13 asking the board to immediately rescind its April 18 move to send its offer to the faculty to the administration and to the bargaining office without public comment until the administration received it. The action came after the board and the administration failed to address the growing labor unrest sparked by the recent UC Board of Regents meeting.
The board has been negotiating with the American Federation of Government Employees union — which represents many UC faculty, but not the administration — since the end of March over the terms of the next contract, which is now scheduled to expire on June 30.
The last contract expired the day after the board met, April 18. Union contracts expire yearly after six years. The current contract has been a multi-year contract since June 2000. It was renewed for another five years in June 2008.
Board President Thomas C. Kenney initially scheduled a June 30 meeting to explain