UC and AFSCME reached a tentative agreement on Sept. 22, 2011. Union members voted Oct. 5-7 to ratify the agreement.
Negotiations were limited to a select number of issues tied to the current contracts, which will expire in about a year. Key topics included wages, healthcare benefits and contributions to the UC Retirement Plan.
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with AFSCME,” said Dwaine Duckett, vice president of human resources. “Moving forward, we hope we can find ways for UC and the union to join forces and work together on issues that are of mutual interest.”
Employees covered under the contracts include patient care staff, such as hospital assistants and hospital laboratory technicians; and service workers, such as custodians and mail processors.
Highlights of the agreements include:
· Patient care employees will receive a 3 percent wage increase for the 2010-11 year, which will go into effect Nov. 1, 2011 with a lump sum payment representing the increase back to January 2011; and a 3 percent increase for the 2011-12 year, effective Jan. 1, 2012.
· Service employees will receive a 3 percent wage increase for the 2010-11 year, which will go into effect Nov. 1, 2011 with a lump sum payment that represents October 2011 wages; and a 3 percent increase for 2011-12, effective Oct. 1, 2012.
· Scheduled step increases will be given to eligible patient care and service employees on July 1, 2012. Service workers also will receive scheduled step increases on July 1, 2013 if they are eligible.
· The minimum salary for service employees will be $13.70 an hour starting Nov. 1, 2011 and $14.42 an hour starting Oct. 1, 2012.
· Employees will continue to receive excellent healthcare benefits and will pay the same rates as the general UC employee population. They will pay 2011 rates for Health Net HMO effective Oct. 1, 2011, and pay 2012 rates for all plans in 2012.
· UC will continue to pay the bulk of health insurance premium costs or roughly 87 percent on average.
· Employees will contribute to the UC Retirement Plan at the same rate as the general UC employee population. Contributions will be 3.5 percent of pay retroactive to July 1, 2011, and 5 percent of pay starting July 1, 2012.
· UC is increasing its contributions as well. It began contributing 7 percent this year, up from 4 percent in the past. The university plans to increase that amount to 10 percent on July 1, 2012.
The current contract for patient care technical employees expires Sept. 30, 2012. The contract for service employees expires Jan. 31, 2013.