UC continues bargaining with its largest union

In the wake of a recently announced strike vote, the UC Office of the President will resume negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 (AFSCME 3299).

“UC’s newest wage and staffing proposals are a welcome sign, but they still fall far short of what they’ve granted to other UC workers and perpetuate an ever widening income gap at California’s premier public university,” said AFSCME 3299 President and UC Service Worker Kathryn Lybarger, characterizing the UC’s treatment of AFSCME’s members as “second class.”

Negotiations have continued for 20 months, even as AFSCME 3299 initiated four separate strikes. The most recent strike occurred on Nov. 20, during which UC workers struck across several UC campuses which led to the temporary closing of UCR’s restaurants and businesses.

Todd Stenhouse, AFSCME Communications Director, asserts that AFSCME has already acceded to 75 percent of the UC’s demands. “Despite these concessions, skyrocketing injury rates and the fact that 99 percent of these employees already qualify for some form of public assistance,” Stenhouse says, “UC has failed to grant AFSCME represented service workers the same staffing safeguards and fair wage increases it has granted to other UC employees.”

Among the outstanding provisions that AFSCME says are provided to other UC workers are compensation for missed breaks and third-party dispute resolution.

UC President Janet Napolitano has stated that one of her primary goals is to improve relations between the UC and labor unions. The UC has previously finalized four contracts with five unions. AFSCME 3299 will hold its next strike vote from Feb. 11-13.

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