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Remembering Bay Area’s Bridge-Building Bonanza

New State Law Requires Union Fee Payment

Asian Scholar Reflects On Fifty Years at Berkeley

Taking a Global Look at Math Development

An Ancient Fish that Went Its Own Way

School of Education Lends Expertise to Set up Seattle Career Academies

Building a Bridge Over America’s Racial Divide

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Open Enrollment for Benefits

Staff Air Concerns Over Salaries, Bonuses and Aging Infrastructure in Chat with Chancellor

Local Governments Lag in Preparing for “The Big One” Along Hayward Fault

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New State Law Requires Union Fee Payment

Posted November 3, 1999

Under a new state law, UC union-represented employees who are not dues-paying union members will soon be required to pay a "fair share service fee" to help cover the union's costs for contract negotiation and administration, grievance representation and related activities.

The legislation, passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Gray Davis Oct. 10, applies to employees of the University of California and California State University. UC faculty eligible for Academic Senate membership are exempt.

The "fair share" fee will be paid through paycheck deduction. The amount of the fee, not to exceed the union's regular membership dues, will be determined by each of the unions representing UC employees.

Each union will also decide when to begin the deductions; the earliest date would be Jan. 1, 2000. The union is required to keep track of the revenue and report annually on how it is spent.

Thirteen unions represent more than 60,000 UC employees systemwide in 31 bargaining units.

"Every union in the UC system is evaluating how they will comply with this legislation," said University Health Services staff member Claudette Begin, who chairs the Berkeley chapter of the clerical workers' Coalition of University Employees. "At CUE we're discussing the ramifications of the bill and investigating what changes to our constitution would be required to comply with the new law."

Her union plans to hold open meetings to discuss the ramifications of the new law with affected clerical workers, she said.

The University of California opposed the measure in the legislature, arguing that UC employees should have the right to vote on any "agency shop" arrangement before it is put in place.

Supporters say that "fair share" is a fee-for-service provision that compensates unions for services they are required to provide to members and non-members alike,and that is in effect for thousands of California state employees.

The law allows any employee who is a member of a "bona fide religion, body or sect that has historically held conscientious objections to joining or financially supporting public employee organizations" to pay his or her fee, instead, to a "nonreligious, nonlabor charitable fund." The union and the university may designate a list of such funds.

The new arrangement may be rescinded by a majority vote of all employees in a bargaining unit if at least 30 percent of the employees in that unit petition for a vote on the issue. If rescinded, it may be reinstated, after a year's time, by the same process.

Employees who are unsure whether they are in a bargaining unit represented by a union, and thus affected by the new law, should contact their supervisor or the campus Office of Labor Relations. For questions on details of implementation, including the amount of the union service fee or procedures for conscientious objectors, contact the appropriate union directly.

A copy of the law is available online through the state legislature Web site, (

Select "bill information," then type in SB645; select "chaptered" to read the final language.

Unions Representing UC Staff and Corresponding Bargaining Units


Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council (skilled crafts employees at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory);

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (service unit, patient care technical unit, and skilled crafts employees at UC Santa Cruz);

American Federation of Teachers (non-Senate instructional unit and professional librarian unit);

Association of Graduate Student Employees -- United Auto Workers (local bargaining units of graduate teaching assistants, readers and tutors)

California Nurses Association (registered nurse unit);

Coalition of University Employees (clerical unit);

Federated University Police Officers Association (police officer unit);

International Union of Operating Engineers (skilled crafts employees at UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara);

Printing Trades Alliance (printing trades employees);

Public Safety Officers Association (protective services officers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory);

San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council (skilled crafts employees at UC San Francisco);

Santa Cruz Faculty Association (UC Santa Cruz faculty); and

University Professional and Technical Employees -- Communications Workers of America (technical unit, research support professional unit and residual patient care professional unit).


November 3 - 9, 1999 (Volume 28, Number 13)
Copyright 1999, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the
Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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