The labor union representing the largest organized group of University of California employees has ratified its new contract overwhelmingly, raising hopes for a period of labor peace at the university system and its hospitals, officials said Monday.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299, which represents more than 20,000 UC employees, including hospital assistants, custodians, gardeners and cafeteria workers, approved the contract by voting margins of at least 98% in its two units, union representatives said.
The ratification came after a nearly yearlong dispute between the union and university over employee pension contributions and retroactive pay raises. Previous agreements that included wage increases were suspended late last year when UC sought to boost employee contributions for pension and health benefits, triggering protest rallies by the union that sometimes interrupted UC regents meetings.
In recent months, the 10-campus UC system has reached agreements with several unions. Along with AFSCME, UC officials also announced Monday that a union representing 350 librarians approved a contract that will make them eligible for merit pay raises.