The University of California has filed a restraining order against all patient care and service employees in a strategic attempt to bar the UC workers’ systemwide strike set for June 4.
Last week, 20,000 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees voted in favor of a two-day strike at all UC medical centers and campuses. Yesterday UC officials counteracted the decision by requesting a temporary restraining order against AFSCME from the Public Employment Relations Board.
UC spokesperson Nicole Savickas said if the university’s appeal for a legal injunction were approved, the measure would effectively block AFSCME members from going on strike.
“The UC has filed an unfair labor practice charge as well as requested a temporary restraining order,” Savickas said. “If it were granted, it would restrain the union from calling the strike, legally banning AFSCME from striking.”
The strike and subsequent legal blockade arose from over 10 months of failed wage negations between the university and its patient care and service employees.
Howard Pripas, executive director of UC Labor Relations, said the restraining order arose out of the necessity of ensuring public health and safety throughout the UC system.
“The university continues to be available for any further discussion to achieve an acceptable compromise,” Pripas said in a press release. “However, we are obligated to take action to protect our patients and communities that rely on UC medical centers for vital services.”
According to Savickas, the UC will receive a decision from the PERB confirming or denying the university’s request by Thursday morning.