Letters to the Editor: UC defends its contract offer in labor talks to avert a strike
By Mark D. Alford
UCOP staff writer
Posted: 03/13/2013 02:15:07 PM MST
In an effort to persuade the union to compromise on an outstanding contract offer offered by UCOP at a secret bargaining session last week, the administration released a statement in response to a series of letters to the editor (which included an extended personal attack on UCOP co-chair Dan Cronin by former UCOP executive director Jim Sullivan as well as a letter of support from former UCOP co-chair and labor activist Robert McElligott) in the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner. However, the administration’s full response and the correspondence with the Chronicle and Examiner are not yet online.
In the San Francisco Chronicle, Mark D. Alford wrote:
“UC is trying to push the union back to the bargaining table and into the arms of the administration. The administration should not be allowed to use a secret bargaining session to force the union back into negotiations.
“UCOP negotiators presented a lengthy contract offer containing many of the items that the majority of UC’s employees were seeking. The negotiators were successful in presenting their offer, which was well-received by members of the negotiating team, and UCOP had an opportunity to vote on it before the secret session began on April 4.
“UCOP members’ commitment to keep the campus open is at the core of their organizing for a living wage, fair union contract. It was not clear to me that the secret sessions were an attempt by the administration to force the union into a contract that it could not accept.”
Alford also wrote in the San Francisco Examiner:
“The administration has a clear legal right to present its side of the story before secret bargaining sessions even begin. UCOP’s negotiating team had been talking about a contract offer for two years, and I don’t believe that this is the first contract offer that UCOP’s negotiation team has presented to the UC and college communities. The contracts that UCOP