UC Irvine Skilled Trades Bargaining Update July 26, 2021

Our bargaining team met with the University on July 20 and 22. We meet again July 27 and 29. 

Highlights include:    

Grievance Procedure

Although Teamsters 2010 union members typically can work out our concerns without using the grievance procedure, bargaining team members proposed contract changes to expedite the grievance process. Currently, at the informal level, employees “shall” discuss grievances with their supervisors.  More often than not, employees have already discussed concerns with their supervisors and the informal review is not needed.  Our bargaining team proposed a language change which would allow an employee to file a formal grievance without the informal step. We also proposed contract language that would give stewards reasonable paid time to investigate and prepare grievances. 

The University’s proposals increased the amount of time that employees would spend grieving matters. Although the University rewrote the language to the informal level, an informal meeting is still required. In addition, the University proposed changing timeframes.  Currently the department head or designee must meet and respond to a grievance within 15 days at Step 2.  The University said that they will respond to the grievance within 15 days after a meeting but created no timeframe to schedule a meeting. Tricky … but no go.

The University has not responded to our proposal on Arbitration, Article 24 and Dues Deductions, Article 40.

Hours of Work

Skilled Trades at the Med Center raised questions about “position vacancy” right before bargaining started.  Steve Huerta, bargaining team member, addressed it with Med Center supervision and at the bargaining table.  Our Union proposed that language for alternate shift Cogen Operators be expanded for all employees. The University has verbally agreed to this change.      

Position Vacancy

When positions are vacated, shop seniority shall be used to re-bid the vacancy first. New hires shall occupy the open shift after the seniority bidding process has been completed.

We have also proposed improvements to the alternate shift language.

Promotions and Transfers

The University has agreed in principle to assist employees who transfer to UCI with transferring vacation, sick time and UCRP and we are finalizing language.

Package Proposal

Our bargaining team made what is called a “package proposal” on the following contract articles:  Death Benefits, Medical Separation, Rehabilitation, Reasonable Accommodation, Work Incurred Injury, or Illness. We have agreed to language on part of the package and are working on settling other parts.  Outstanding concerns include: 

Death Benefits

Our bargaining team proposed that UCRP death benefits be referenced in our contract just as it does with monies paid out by UCI. This proposal is in honor of Dan Browne, who died at work in the Medical Center. Only with Union assistance was his widow able to get the University to pay monies owed to her from both UCI and from UCRP. The University has rejected our proposal. 

Reasonable Accommodation

In response to concerns raised by campus Central Plant employees, our Union proposed that whenever possible, Main Campus Central Plant employees be provided reasonable accommodation at Campus Central Plant.

Package Proposal on Safety Issues

The team made another package proposal on Safety, Safety Committee, and Protective Clothing and Safety Equipment. The University still needs to respond to the concerns we raised.

We outlined training classes that the University should provide yearly including classes on asbestos, lock out / tag out, active shooter, etc. In addition, we proposed that employees be fit-tested as required by law for respirators on a yearly basis (as applicable). As we have done in previous negotiations, we proposed that employees be able to use part of their boot money for insoles. 


  • Our bargaining team will meet this Tuesday and Thursday. 
  • Membership Meetings are planned for the first week in August– on Campus and at the Medical Center.


UCI Skilled Trades Bargaining Team

Brian Maloney, Chief Steward

Eric Kuder – Campus

Gabriel Zamora – Campus

Martin Hernandez – Campus

Steve Huerta – UCI Medical Center