Almost two years of contract negotiations between the University of California and its clerical workers may finally come to an end in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, the UC and the Coalition of University Employees released statements saying a state-appointed mediator, Micki Callahan, has recommended a new labor contract between the UC and C.U.E. after weeks of voluntary mediation between the pair.

The proposal includes 2.5 percent wage increases for the period in which UC clerical employees worked without contracts and calls for wages for the 2003-04 fiscal year and 2004 parking rates to be negotiated in the future, a UC Office of the President press release stated. C.U.E. has demanded a 15 percent raise over a two-year period.

If approved, the contract will immediately become a formal tentative agreement between the University and C.U.E. until normal contract approval procedures are complete. The contract will be effective until Sept. 30, 2004. If it is rejected, the parties can declare an impasse and enter into obligatory mediation.

The UC announced support for the proposed contract Tuesday. C.U.E. members must vote on the contract before it can be approved by union negotiators. C.U.E. local representatives are currently scheduling dates and times for voting, which must be completed before April 30, 2003. Information regarding the proposed contract and the upcoming vote will be mailed to all C.U.E. members as soon as C.U.E. has established a schedule.