Negotiations over the 2019-2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) are progressing poorly. In a gesture of good faith and with the intent to expedite negotiations, the Chapter put forth very reasonable compensation proposals. The proposals considered a strong economy and increases in student enrollment. Salary and other benefits, including health insurance, were considered together (the total compensation package). They were tailored to align with President Pinto’s proposed Strategic Sizing Initiative (SSI), which seeks to better align UC with other peer institutions.
Unfortunately, the administration countered with cost of living salary increases and huge increases in faculty health insurance costs, including a 21% increase to health insurance premiums in the first year. This would be followed by additional increases in subsequent years, as well as increases in co-pays and the percentage of out-of-pocket costs after deductible. The administration’s proposed increases in health insurance cost would completely offset the proposed salary increases. The administration has also proposed no increases in Regional Salaries (see 10.4 of the CBA), despite the efforts of the Regional Salaries Committee to improve inequities at Clermont and UCBA.[i]. They have also proposed reducing the paid parental leave benefit for any faculty member teaching more than two classes per semester.
In short, this is an unfortunate example of “here we go again.” The administration using the same lowball strategies that it has used in the last two bargaining cycles. The administration’s proposals and the overall tone of bargaining lead to the conclusion that this administration does not view faculty as an asset—much less an integral component of the university—but as an unfortunate budgetary annoyance.
[i] Under the Administration’s proposal, faculty at Clermont and UCBA would be eligible for across the board and other standard compensation increases, but there would no compensation increase specific to the regional campuses. These increases have been included in the last several CBA to better align Clermont and UCBA with other branch campuses across the state and with other colleges at UC.