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Contract talks stuck? Put health care on the table

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in Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

News to note if you work in a unionized workplace: Health benefits are still a legitimate bargaining chip. A state employees union recently agreed to shoulder more of the health insurance burden in exchange for better performance-based pay.

Members of the University Professional & Technical Employees Union (UPTE) this fall overwhelmingly approved a contract with the University of California. UPTE members are occupational therapists, pharmacists, scientists, social workers and case managers who work in the California university system.

The new contract means pay raises for some 2,800 union members who earned good reviews on their most recent performance evaluations.

In return, the union agreed to pay a higher percentage of the state health plan’s insurance premiums.

That concession broke a year-long negotiation deadlock and paved the way for a contract that wound up winning approval from 90% of union members.

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