Monday, August 26, 2002

Paul Schwartz (510) 987-9924

University of California President Richard C. Atkinson issued the following statement today (August 26) regarding the strikes this week at the Office of the President and UC Berkeley campus by the American Federation of Teachers and the Coalition of University Employees.

Richard C. Atkinson
University of California

The University of California greatly appreciates the hard work and dedication of all its employees, and this certainly includes lecturers and clerical employees. UC lecturers play a critical role in helping the University fulfill its teaching mission, and clerical employees, along with the rest of staff, represent the administrative backbone of the University.

The University continues to offer both the lecturers' union and the clericals' union the best wage proposals it can, given the limited state funding it is receiving due to the current budget deficit. We are also working hard in our negotiations to address other important employee issues, such as job security for lecturers and health and safety issues for clericals.

We regret the unions' decision to ask our employees to engage in this type of action. We have made significant compromises throughout negotiations with both unions, but of course, contract settlement requires compromise from both parties, not just the University. We remain hopeful that resolution is near.

I want to assure our employees, students and the public that both the Office of the President and the Berkeley campus have contingency plans in place to help ensure that University classes and operations will continue with as little disruption as possible these next few days.


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