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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2004
Paul Schwartz (510) 987-9924
paul.Schwartz@ucop.edu


STATEMENT ON AFSCME CONTRACT TALKS

The University of California and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have entered the fact-finding stage of their limited-subject labor contract negotiations for UC’s 7,000 service employees.

UC and AFSCME have been in limited-subject negotiations regarding 2003-04 wages since May 2003, which has been a difficult subject to resolve to the parties’ mutual satisfaction due to the fact that the 2003-04 state budget, as well as the governor’s 2004-05 budget proposal, provide no state funding for salary increases.

In February 2004, the Public Employment Relations Board determined the parties were at an impasse and assigned a state mediator to help resolve or at least narrow remaining differences. Unfortunately, mediation did not produce a settlement regarding systemwide wages. However, the parties did reach an agreement on 2003–04 wages for the service unit at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in May 2004.

Micki Callahan, the mediator and chair of the State Mediation and Conciliation Services, referred the parties to fact-finding on June 8, 2004.

UC and AFSCME have each appointed one representative to a three-person fact-finding panel, with the third panel member to be a neutral fact-finder appointed by PERB. The state-appointed neutral fact-finder will chair the panel. The panel will hear presentations from UC and AFSCME representatives concerning the facts of the unresolved issues, make findings of fact and recommend terms of settlement. If the parties do not come to agreement after considering the panel's recommendations, UC may choose to implement some or all of the recommendations, or some version of its last offer.

Since mediation and the fact-finding stage of the negotiation process are confidential, details about current offers are not available.

The current agreement between UC and AFSCME remains in effect during the period of negotiations of the full contract, which is currently taking place.

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