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Statement by Stanford University responding to SEIU Local 715 and its call for a strike vote

Stanford University has issued the following statement responding to an announcement by SEIU Local 715 that it is calling for a strike vote on Monday, Nov. 28.

Stanford University was surprised and dismayed to learn from the media that SEIU Local 715 has announced that it is calling for a strike vote among Stanford University employees on Monday, November 28.

The University is currently in negotiations with SEIU Local 715, the Union that represents approximately 1260 service, maintenance, and technical employees on a limited set of benefits issues. After an introductory session, bargaining teams for the union and university have met three times and have exchanged opening proposals, but have not yet exchanged any counterproposals. The parties have reopened five sections of the existing agreement, principally concerning retirement and health benefits. At the last session on November 18, both sides acknowledged that there is much work to be done and agreed to continue the negotiations on Monday, November 28th. Thus, the University was surprised to learn that, without any notice to Stanford, SEIU issued a press statement saying they will ask for a strike vote on Monday, the day they agreed to resume negotiating.

In addition, the University is disheartened to learn that Local 715 apparently does not intend to abide by the "no strike” provision in the contract. This provision, which remains in effect, prohibits strikes and other interference with or disruption of work or operations during the term of the contract. The current contract continues through August 31, 2006.

The University highly values its service, maintenance, and technical employees. The current contract provides for competitive wages and also offers a generous and complete benefit package including health benefits, dental, life insurance, and pension benefits. In addition, employees receive generous educational benefits, including staff training assistance, staff tuition reimbursement, and tuition grant benefits for children of eligible employees. Stanford also provides health benefits for its retired employees. Stanford's benefit package is very competitive— Stanford spends over 30 cents on employee benefits for salary dollar.