As the clerical and administrative workers represented by Teamsters Local 2010 prepare to strike beginning at midnight on Jan. 10, the University of California has issued the following statement:
“We are still bargaining with the Teamsters, and under California law, while negotiations continue, a strike is presumed to be unlawful. A strike is also counterproductive to negotiations.
“We are offering our clerical employees guaranteed, market-competitive wage increases, good benefits and stability. UC’s offer carries an average pay raise of 18 percent over the next six years as well as excellent health care benefits and retirement options, including a traditional pension plan that very few other employers offer. In bargaining this weekend, UC offered each Teamsters clerical employee an additional $1,200 as a ratification bonus, to be paid out over the life of the contract.
“UC clerical employees earn an annual average salary of $47,300 — more than the state average of roughly $39,200 for clerical workers. These UC employees typically pay just $384 a year for health insurance for themselves and their children. By comparison, the average American worker typically pays over $5,200 for less generous health coverage — and that’s just for themselves.
“Our proposed wage increases ensure that pay for our clerical staff stays market-competitive, and they are consistent with increases given to other UC represented and non-represented employees.
“We believe our proposals fairly recognize the skills and contributions of our clerical staff. We urge Teamsters leadership to finalize a new contract without further delay.”
Approximately 11,600 clerical and administrative support workers throughout the UC system, including 3,500 employees at UCLA, will strike Jan. 10. UC has been negotiating with Teamsters for a new contract for these employees since April 2016.
UC’s proposed wage increases — which come on top of the 22.5 percent pay increases these employees received under the most recent five-year contract — ensure salaries for clericals stay market-competitive, and are consistent with increases given to other represented and non-represented employees. (More information.)
The strike by the clerical and administrative workers coincides with a strike by some 600 UCLA skilled trades workers, including electricians, plumbers, service engineers, carpenters, facilities workers, facilities mechanics and others, also represented by Teamsters Local 2010. These workers have been striking at UCLA and at UCLA Health facilities in Westwood and Santa Monica since 12 a.m. Jan. 6 and will continue until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
UCLA has been negotiating with Teamsters for a new contract since Aug. 30, 2016.
UCLA states that this is an unlawful, pre-impasse economic strike.
In anticipation of these strikes, UCLA and UCLA Health developed plans that allow the campus and all facilities within its medical enterprise to remain open. UCLA Health’s first priority is to provide patients with safe, high-quality medical care. UCLA Health’s plan ensures that our hospitals and clinics remain open and fully operational and continue to serve the medical needs of our patients and the community.
UCLA respects the contributions of its workers and shares in their desire to come to agreements on fair and competitive contracts in the near future. This resolution, however, will be achieved only if all parties engage in respectful and productive dialogue at the bargaining table.
UCLA’s most recent offer to its skilled trades workers includes an immediate 12.5 percent pay increase, a 2.25 percent signing bonus and annual 3 percent salary increases in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The proposed salary increase is supplemented by quality health care and retirement benefits that are part of their total compensation package.
Currently, the average salary for skilled trades workers is $60,000. With retirement and health care benefits added, their current average compensation package is valued at $85,000. The skilled trades workers been offered a 24.5 percent raise over four years. After implementing UCLA’s proposed wage increase, the average salary for skilled trades workers would be about $76,000 and the average value of overall compensation would be approximately $100,000.
According to UCLA’s recent market analysis, this wage proposal would have made UCLA skilled trades workers the highest compensated in their category among four-year colleges and universities in Southern California. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported that skilled trades employees are among the highest-paid hourly employees in higher education.
Despite this, UCLA’s most recent wage proposal was summarily rejected by Teamsters. (Media statement and backgrounder.)