On Monday, the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees 3299 announced in a press release that it is preparing for a single-day unfair labor practice strike on May 16 in response to alleged “illegal sourcing” from the UC system.
The call to strike was originally made by the service and patient care workers of the UC system, according to the press release.
The largest union both on campus and throughout the UC system, the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299 joined the initial call to strike from the Service and Patient Care Workers of the UC system.
Kathryn Lybarger, president of AFSCME Local 3299 chapter, said in the press release that UC administration continuously overlooks the needs of workers at the campuses and is evasive about their outsourcing agenda.
“The University of California has bypassed its workers at every turn, refusing to meet and confer about plans to outsource some of the last middle-class jobs in California to poverty wage contractor,” Lybarger said.
AFSCME Local 3299 is responsible for representing over 24,000 employees across the UC system.
The union alleges that the UC has been responsible for “years of scandal,” namely income inequality and “illegal intimidation tactics.”
The press release also claims that administrators at UC Davis are refusing to comply with demands to stop outsourcing.
“Rather than arranging for UC’s current Patient Care workers to operate the new site, UC plans to eliminate those UC jobs and insists that workers should lose their employment benefits and reapply to work at the new facility,” the press release said.
Claire Doan, a spokesperson for the UC Office of the President, said AFSCME’s claims are unfounded and calls for attention. Doan also cited an AFSCME-led boycott of commencement speakers last month, during which the union called for workers to protest events featuring speakers such as former First Lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
“It’s clear AFSCME leaders are going to desperate lengths for attention, from sporadically announcing baseless accusations against the university to calling for a boycott of commencement speakers that squarely hurts students and their families,” Doan said in an email to the Nexus.
Doan added that UC health and service workers receive fair compensation and benefits for their work.
“UC already pays AFSCME patient care and service workers at or above market rates, with excellent health insurance and generous retirement benefits,” Doan said in an email to the Nexus.
Lybarger expressed her discontent with the UC system, accusing it of siding with the most economical option, a decision that she said negatively affects union employees who risk having their jobs outsourced.
“UC administrators have opted for a publicly financed race to the bottom, which will come at the expense of patients, students, families, and our communities,” she said.
The May 16 strike will take place throughout the entire state on all 10 UC campuses and at all five medical campuses. University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) will also be present alongside AFSCME and service and patient care workers on the picket lines.
UCSB’s AFSCME strike headquarters will be at Storke Tower.