The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 12, 2011
University of California, clerks' union agree to two-tier pensions

100831 calculator.JPGThe Coalition of University Employees - Teamsters Local 2010 and the University of California have agreed to a new labor contract that trades raises for a new pension plan tier and higher employee contribution costs for current employees and future hires.

The deal covers more than 12,500 university clerical staff, marking the end of tough bargaining talks that started in 2008.

Current UC employees covered by the agreement ratified by the rank and file will receive a 3 percent wage increase for the 2011-12 fiscal year retroactive to July. They'll also receive 3 percent raises for the next three fiscal years and a 2 percent bump in 2015-16.

Those increases are partially offset by increases in employee retirement contributions. Current workers will pay 3.5 percent of their pay toward their pensions, up from 2 percent, retroactive to the July 1 start of the 2011-12 fiscal year. Next July, the payment goes to 5 percent and then 6.5 percent at the beginning of the 2013-14 fiscal year.

CUE members hired after July 1, 2013 will receive the same pension benefits and cover the same costs as unrepresented faculty and staff, contributing 7 percent of pay to their retirement accounts.

The two-tier deal also raises the the minimum retirement age from 50 to 55 for future hires. The age factor for pension benefits maxes out at 65 for those workers instead of age 60 for everyone hired before July 2013. UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein pointed us to a 2010 document, "Changes to UC Retirement Benefits," as the guidepost for the clerical union's agreement.

The university said in its press release that it's also boosting its contributions to the system.

As to what CUE members were paying into UCRP prior to this contract, the answer - technically - is nothing. CUE members were paying 2 percent of their salaries into the defined contribution plan. Now they will be contributing directly into UCRP as other employees do, and at the same rates.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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