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Agreement reached on new contract for CUE employees

07 May 2003

The university and the Coalition of University Employees (CUE) reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract last Thursday. Once it is ratified, employees covered by the contract will receive a wage increase of 2 percent for 2001-02, and 1.5 percent for 2002-03. The contract expires in Sept. 2004.

It is unclear when the contract will be formally approved, though a letter from the Office of the President (dated May 1) stated that it was expected to happen “within the week.” Eligible staff will receive paychecks reflecting their retroactive salary increases 120 days after the contract is ratified.

The two parties have been negotiating since May 2001. A state mediator was called in to help resolve the impasse.

“Our clerical employees work very hard to help UC remain the premier public research university in the world,” says Judith Boyette, UC’s associate vice president for human resources, “and we believe this agreement is a fair and balanced compromise, considering the significant state funding constraints we’re experiencing.”

Nearly 2,400 of the 6,000 CUE members eligible to vote did so. According to statistics provided on the CUE website, 1,557 members voted in favor of the proposal, while 831 voted against it.

Union president Claudia Horning (UCLA) issued a statement that said, in part: “This vote does not mean that UC clericals are satisfied with the wage component, as was made clear by the large number of ‘no’ votes. People just want to sign off on this contract and take advantage of the other language gains we’ve won through bargaining.”

The “language gains” mentioned by Horning will not become public until the contract is ratified, say campus administrators.

There are approximately 18,000 clerical employees covered by CUE, but only dues-paying members can vote on contract proposals. The proposed contract affects some 2,000 administrative and clerical employees at Berkeley.

“We’re thrilled that we have been able to come to an agreement with CUE and the employees it represents,” says David Moers, assistant vice chancellor for human resources at Berkeley. “I hope this portends the beginning of a new relationship between the university and CUE.”

Visit atyourservice.ucop.edu/employees/policies/labor_relations or /www.cueunion.org for further information about the proposed contract.