In the past few weeks the University of California struck agreements with two unions representing its clerical and healthcare employees, awarding raises and other benefits.

Following negotiations, the University decided to award salary increases to clerical employees earning less than $40,000, who are represented by the Coalition of University Employees (CUE). Additionally, the University Professional and Technical Employees union (UPTE) forged a new five-year contract with the UC, with wage increases and time off for work-related education among the benefits.

The CUE agreement affects roughly 11,800 clerical employees throughout the UC, at a cost of $2.7 million to the University. It awards salary increases in three tiers. Employees earning less than $30,000 will receive a 1.5 percent increase, those earning less than $32,000 will receive a 1 percent increase and workers in the $32,000 to $40,000 bracket will gain .75 percent each year.

The University has also expressed its willingness to extend a similar raise to low-paid service employees represented by the American Federation of Federal, State and County employees, pending that union’s approval of the offer.

The contract with healthcare employees went into effect March 30 and will last through 2011. The new contract, which will affect certain UCSB Student Health employees, will raise salaries between 4 and 15 percent, depending upon the employee’s position.

In addition, all healthcare professional employees will receive a one-time payout of $1,000.

UPTE and the University have agreed to continue discussions about health benefits in 2009. Pending those talks, employees will receive the maximum rate of contribution, which will match the contributions made for other employees.

The agreement with UPTE also specifically bans any form of striking.

– Aria Miran