Yesterday, the University of California reached a new three-year contract agreement with the Federated University Police Officers Association – the organization representing UC police officers.

The deal, which is currently awaiting approval from union members, will provide the UC’s police force of more than 200 officers with general salary increases and the same health and retirement benefits as other UC employees.

University officials, who noted the speedy nature of the negotiations, said the issue of wages was featured most prominently during the discussions.

In a press release from the UC Office of the President, the UC’s chief negotiator Peter Chester said the contract talks were successful due to the joint efforts of the two parties in reaching a deal.

“We greatly appreciate the professionalism that the union’s chief negotiator and campus representatives brought to each bargaining session and their commitment to resolving differences collaboratively,” Chester said. “That kind of cooperation and partnership makes a big difference.”

The wage increases will range from 2 to 8 percent, with the raises varying based on each individual campus and the situation of the local market.

The contract – which will be in effect until Sept. 30, 2011 – will not be open to discussion on any issues except wages and a few other items. Those aspects of the pact will be re-examined yearly until the full contract undergoes renegotiation in 2011.

John Cammidge, the UC interim associate vice president for human resources and benefits, said in the press release that the university is proud to have a fair contract that reflects the importance of the UC police force on campuses across the state.

“UC police officers do a tremendous job for the entire university community, and we’re very happy to have reached an agreement that we believe recognizes their quality service,” Cammidge said.