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Raises authorized for lower-paid UC workers

04 April 2007

Citing "the impact of California's high cost of living on employees," UC officials are offering more than $7.8 million in raises to about 36,000 of the system's lower-paid non-student employees. Effective April 1, UC staff earning annual salaries under $40,000 will receive pay increases ranging from 0.5 percent to 2 percent a year, the Office of the President announced.

The Coalition of University Employees (CUE), which represents nearly 12,000 UC workers earning less than $40,000 a year, signed an agreement with UC's Office of the President last week that gives clerical employees in titles with average salaries of under $30,000 an increase of 1.5 percent. CUE members with jobs averaging between $30,000 and $32,000 will receive a 1 percent boost, while those in titles with average salaries higher than $32,000 but less than $40,000 will get 0.75 percent increases.

Approximately 4,000 non-represented employees will also get automatic raises based on average salaries: 2 percent for employees earning less than $30,000 a year, 1 percent for those earning between $30,000 and $35,000, and 0.5 percent for those making from $35,000 to $40,000.

UCOP said it is attempting to reach similar agreements with low-paid service and patient-care technical staff, who are represented by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and technical and research-support professional employees represented by the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE).

Amatullah Alaji-Sabrie, an employee at Boalt Hall and the chief negotiator for CUE, welcomed the increases, though she said the category of low-paid UC workers should be expanded beyond the $40,000 cutoff.

"We're happy to work with the university on anything that's going to help bring people up to the market," she said, adding that the union's goal was to "stretch the money to as many people as possible."

Because of the locations of some of its campuses, said Alaji-Sabrie, UC should broaden the range of eligible employees. "In many areas," she said, "$40,000 is a hardship."