LOS ANGELES — The University of California reached a tentative labor deal with a union representing more than 12,000 researchers, healthcare, and technical workers this week after more than two years of negotiations.
The bargaining groups, represented by the University Professional and Technical Employees Union, are expected to vote on the multi-year contracts this week.
The proposed contract includes cost-of-living increases of 11.5% to 13%, plus step increases, over four years, and preserves the university's retirement system on a single-tier for union workers through an additional contribution from employees, according to a statement from the union.
"The historic agreement is a commitment to preserving the University of California as the world's premier academic institution," said UPTE's president, Jelger Kalmijn. "Our bargaining team made a responsible proposal to contribute an additional 1% to the pension fund in exchange for the UC agreeing to keep all members on a single plan, and UC has agreed."
UC had initially proposed a two-pier pension system that the union said would have reduced benefits for current and future employees.
Under the proposed plan, announced by both sides on Monday, healthcare employees would start contributing 8.6% of annual pay to pensions starting in February 2014, and 9% in July. Research and technical employees would also start contributing 9% in July.
In addition, medical center employees would receive a 5.5% wage increase starting in January 2014, followed by a 2% annual increase over the next three years. Student health center employees would receive a 4% increase next year, and a 2% to 3% increase in the next three years. Research and technical employees will receive a 4% increase next year and a 3% increase each year through 2016.
"It has been a long road and we are pleased that we have been able to work through the issues and negotiate fair terms for our hard-working employees," said Dwaine B. Duckett, UC vice president of human resources.
The contract would expire on Sept. 30, 2017.
These agreements are the latest in a number of labor contracts the UC has settled recently. The university finalized multi-year agreements with its nurses, lecturers, librarians, and police officers within the last two months.