News in Brief

UC Concluding Contract Negotiations

For the last month, the University of California has been in contract negotiations with UC police officers, librarians and nurses. After ratifying a four-year agreement with the Federated University Police Officers Association on Oct. 21, the university announced on Friday, Nov. 15, that it has also concluded good faith negotiations with the American Federation of Teachers for librarian contracts. On Saturday, Nov. 16, UC officials announced that they have reached a tentative agreement with the California Nurses Association and have a proposed four-year labor contract for more than 11,700 UC nurses and student health workers. If this contract is ratified, it will be the third contract completed this month.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with CNA that maintains competitive market wages and benefits for our hard-working nurses and recognizes the excellent patient care they provide every day at our medical centers and student health centers,” Dwaine Duckett, UC vice president for human resources said. “We also appreciate CNA’s commitment to and partnership in working through the issues at the bargaining table.”

The proposed four-year contract features a four percent across-the-board salary increase every January for the next four years and a “no strikes” provision. With this agreement, CNA is prepared to rescind its sympathy strike notice announced earlier this month for Nov. 20.

UC and AFT have been in negotiations for 18 months. The new contract includes a two-phase salary scale, which will run through Oct. 31, 2018. A few highlights of the agreement includes revised language that specifies when a temporary employee becomes a career librarian and the elimination of the “barrier step,” which will allow more librarians to move to the top bracket of the salary scale.

“The issues in these negotiations were complex, but the university and the union worked diligently and collaboratively to reach these fair terms,” Duckett said.


Suspicious Death in Car Under Investigation

A body was discovered in a burned-out car left in a creek bed near the intersection of Michelson Drive and Harvard Avenue by a jogger on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 13, Irvine Police Department said in a press release. Officials noted that the preliminary investigation has not produced any evidence indicating a collision.

Lieutenant Julia Engen said in the official statement, “Although near a well-traveled intersection, the area itself is concealed from view by natural barriers.”

The unidentified, damaged vehicle was found in the San Diego Creek. According to IPD, the only access point to where the car was found is through a small access road called Riparian View, which is used for the Michelson Water Reclamation Plant and a nearby wildlife sanctuary.

Both the IPD and Orange County Coroner’s Office responded to the scene and are currently investigating the death.

“The person’s identity has not yet been determined and will not be released until such time as the next of kin can be located and notified,” Engen concluded.