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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A union representing more than 12,000 researchers, technical employees and health care professionals for the University of California is expected to vote this week on a contract that would provide wage increases and retain retirement benefits.

Leadership of the University Professional & Technical Employees union approved the proposed four-year contract on Friday. It includes cost-of-living increases of 11.5 percent to 13 percent, in addition to regular step pay increases.

The deal prevents a two-tiered pension system that pushes back retirement with similar benefits for workers by five years. Workers would kick in an additional 1 percent to the pension plan in July to the standard contribution of 8 percent.

The UC system also has reached agreements with unions representing nurses, lecturers, librarians and police officers in the past two months.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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