July 16, 2004


The University of California and the Coalition of University Employees have entered the fact-finding stage of their limited-subject labor contract negotiations for UC's 17,000 clerical employees. UC and CUE have been in limited-subject negotiations since last summer.

Remaining differences concern three economic issues: wages, benefits and parking. Systemwide salary increases for employees have been the most difficult area of discussion because the 2003-04 state budget, as well as the governor's 2004-05 budget proposal, provides no state funding for salary increases. However, UC and CUE have settled on one aspect of the wages dispute: the distribution of 2003-04 incentive awards.

In April 2004, UC and CUE jointly declared an impasse and requested the services of a state mediator to help resolve or at least narrow remaining differences. Unfortunately, mediation did not produce a settlement.

Micki Callahan, the mediator and chair of the State Mediation and Conciliation Services, has agreed that no further concession can be made by either party. Accordingly, the parties will now move to fact-finding, the next step in the impasse procedure.

The University of California and CUE will each appoint one representative to a three-person fact-finding panel, with the third panel member to be a neutral representative appointed by the Public Employment Relations Board. The state-appointed neutral fact-finder will chair the panel. The panel will hear presentations from UC and CUE 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 the University of California and CUE expires Sept. 30, 2004. Plans are under way to begin negotiations on the full contract later this summer.

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