UC has been bargaining with the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) union since April 2006 on a new labor agreement for UC Health Care Professionals. The University and UPTE reached tentative agreement on February 15, 2007, and the University is currently awaiting the results of UPTE's ratification process.
The University appreciates the invaluable contributions UC Health Care Professionals make on a daily basis. In addition, HX employees, managers and supervisors have demonstrated great patience throughout the 11 month bargaining process. The University and UPTE bargaining teams have worked hard to deliver this tentative agreement to HX employees, and in the interest of reaching an equitable tentative agreement in as timely a manner as possible, UC made a number of critical compromises. This tentative agreement maintains attractive compensation and benefits for healthcare staff, and includes a number of improvements beneficial to UC Health Care Professionals.
The Union plans to put the tentative agreement out to the membership for a vote during the week of March 26, 2007.
If Ratification is Not Reached
If HX employees vote against ratification of this tentative agreement, the University and UPTE must return to the bargaining table in order to continue the bargaining process as outlined in the labor relations act (HEERA). Without a ratified agreement, the already lengthy bargaining process will continue and, if necessary, the parties will have to go through the impasse procedures which include mediation and fact-finding. HX employees will not receive the wage increases or other improvements outlined in the tentative agreement below while the bargaining process continues without bi-lateral agreement on those provisions.
Primary Elements of the Tentative Agreement
The primary elements of the tentative agreement are as follows, they are provided in order to help UC Health Care Professionals make an informed decision on ratification:
- Duration - A five-year contract (7/1/06 - 6/30/11) with wage increases outlined for the first three years of the contract and a provision to re-open the contract in 2009 to negotiate compensation, health benefits and pension.
- Compensation - Maintenance of the zone salary structure in Year 1 (effective upon ratification); transition to a step-based salary structure in Year 2 and range increases and step movement in Year 3.
- Implementation of Wage Increases - While the University will strive to implement the increases as soon as is possible, the University is required by the terms of the agreement to provide the wage increases within 120 days of the date of ratification, also known as the effective date of the contract. In any event, employees will receive the increases back to the effective date of the agreement. This means that if the contract is effective on April 1, 2007 and it takes the University until July 1st to implement, the employees will not only receive the increase going forward but each employee will receive payments covering the increased wages from April 1, 2007 through June 30, 2007.
- Lump Sum Signing Bonus - $1000 lump sum payment to all HX employees who are in the bargaining unit on the date of ratification.
- Ongoing Equity Discussions - The University and UPTE have agreed to meet on a systemwide basis regarding equity concerns for the bargaining unit later in 2007 and again for local campus discussions in 2008 and 2010.
- Health and Welfare Benefits - For calendar years 2007, 2008 and 2009, the University's maximum monthly rates of contribution for health and welfare benefits for HX employees will be the same as those for other staff employees. The parties will engage in bargaining on health benefits in 2009 for calendar years 2010 and 2011.
- Pension - Effective upon ratification of this tentative agreement, the HX Unit will have the opportunity to fully participate in the negotiation process for potential pension contributions with an HX representative at the RX and TX bargaining table(s.) HX employees will pay the same contribution to the UCRP as RX and TX employees (who are also represented by UPTE) through June 30, 2009. The parties will engage in bargaining on this issue in 2009 for the period of July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2011.
- Other Improvements/Changes -
- Overtime - A supervisor shall ask for volunteers before assigning overtime, when practicable.
- Shift Charge - Established Shift Charge role with pay differential of $1.25 per hour for those temporarily assigned shift charge duties for an entire shift.
- Appointments - The University shall notify the employee of conversion from limited appointment to career status.
- Special Per Diem Rights - Student Health Center Per Diem employees who work 750 hours within a 12-month period will be eligible for special per diem rights.
- Professional Development - UC will make reasonable efforts to accommodate requests for educational leave, including requests for more than 12 hours of internet/home study. Upon an employee's request and at UC's discretion, an employee may be cross-trained on new equipment within his/her department.
- Respectful and Fair Treatment - New article added to the contract similar to the article in other staff contracts.
Reaching agreement entails compromise by both sides and this tentative agreement clearly illustrates the respective parties' efforts and willingness to compromise. The University remains hopeful that this tentative agreement will be ratified, so that UC Health Care Professionals may reap the benefits of their patience and continued dedication to their work.