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Monday, September 20, 2021

97 percent ratification on Teamster’s new labor contract

MORGAN TIEU / AGGIE

Contract ensures generous wage increase, affordable healthcare

The Teamsters Local 2010, the University of California’s (UC) union, successfully ratified a new five-year contract on April 19. The contract ensures a 19.4 percent wage increase over the course of five years, a $1,200 ratification bonus per clerical employee, a health care price increase cap and a choice of retirement plans.

The union is composed of around 12,000 clerical and administrative workers and 800 skilled workers. The contract is set to last until March 31, 2020 and ensures a 3 percent annual raise each year the contract is in place. Skilled workers are set to receive a 12.5 percent wage increase on July 1 in addition to the annual raise. As part of ensuring affordable healthcare for union members, the contract sets a $25 monthly limit on health care rate increases to guarantee an average monthly cost of $32 for “generous health benefits.”

“Support for our contract has been overwhelming, validating the countless hours of hard work by Teamster activists and leaders across California,” said Catherine Cobb, the Teamsters Local 2010 president. “This is a victory in which we can all celebrate.”

Negotiations for the contract proved to be lengthy, as the negotiation process began over a year ago. During the contractual deliberations, the Teamsters fought for better wages, citing a study done by The Urban & Environmental Policy Institute of Occidental College that showed 70 percent of the Teamsters faced food insecurity due to insufficient wages. The Teamsters also instigated a UC wide one-day Unfair Labor Practice strike in January to protest what they deemed as bad faith bargaining and patterns of employee disrespect from the University. In March, the Teamsters reached an agreement with the University regarding the contents of their new labor contract.

Over 97 percent of the 12,800 member union voted to approve the contract. Jason Rabinowitz, the Teamster secretary-treasurer, noted that the successful ratification was largely due to the support the union had garnered from its community members.

“Our contract is the result of Teamster members standing together and showing their strength in their workplaces,” Rabinowitz said in an email press release. “We are grateful for the support we received from our sister Unions, community groups, elected officials, and the public. We are proud to have an agreement that will benefit all our members and their families.”

Shortly after the completed ratification process, UC Vice President Dwaine B. Duckett released a letter announcing the contents of the new labor contract and thanking the clerical, administrative and skilled workers that comprise the union.

“You play an integral role in keeping our campuses and medical centers running seamlessly every day,” Duckett wrote in the letter. “We appreciate all that you do, and this agreement reflects our commitment to fairly compensate you for your hard work and dedication.”

Written by: Lindsay Floyd  — campus@theaggie.org

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