The Coalition of University Employees (CUE) will begin negotiating its next contract with the University of California in May.

CUE’s current contract was finalized in December 2000. Negotiations for that contract, which expires in September 2001, began in 1998. Some employees have not received performance bonuses promised in the current contract, and today is the last day for CUE members to file for those bonuses.

“Clerical employees are still owed the back pay retroactive to the two-and-a-half years that negotiations dragged on, and the university has until May 9 to pay,” UCSB CUE President Debbie Ceder said.

Early this year during the negotiations, CUE members picketed outside of Cheadle Hall and accused the university of being indifferent to their financial situation.

The negotiations ended with a 7.8-percent pay increase for clerical workers. The union also won additional merit increases for employees under the Incentive Awards Program (IAP). So far, UCSB has paid a 6.8-percent raise, as well as IAP bonuses from 1999 and 2000.

“UCSB has some incentive to pay it off quickly, in that they may not raise our parking rates until 45 days after our final payment is made,” Ceder said. “Clerical employees have been enjoying the 1999 parking rates during our prolonged negotiations.”

Ceder said CUE members must submit proof they were promised IAP bonuses if they wish to receive them. Documentation can be in the form of a letter, certificate, e-mail printout, etc., to Labor Relations Manager Leslie Sanchez. The proof can be hand delivered, mailed or faxed.

Ceder said if the IAP bonus was promised verbally, supervisors must provide a memo or a letter to that effect.

“Employees who apply get 100 percent of the promised IAP money,” Ceder said. “Many of them were nominated to receive anything between $100 to $1,000 or more.

“A communication which merely states that the employee has been nominated for an incentive award without supplemental documentation confirming the award of an IAP will not be construed as a promise by the university to pay an IAP award.”

The university will pay IAP bonuses on or before July 2, 2000, Ceder said. Only clerical employees who were promised IAP awards between July 1, 1999 and Dec. 20, 2000 should apply.

CUE members are currently in the process of electing a new bargainer to represent Santa Barbara in the upcoming negotiations.

“The upcoming negotiations will begin in May, but our bargainer won’t be elected until the end of May,” Ceder said. “Nominations are open from April 5 to 19.”

Chancellor Henry Yang said he had faith the negotiations will progress smoothly.

“CUE and the university have exchanged their initial lists of contract articles they would like to include in the negotiations,” Yang said. “I am confident that the university will negotiate in good faith regarding any proposals that CUE makes, and that the two sides will reach a mutually acceptable agreement.”