The American Federation of County, State, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299, the largest labor union in the UC system, announced that dates for their second strike of the year would be October 23–25.
AFSCME Local 3299 represents more than 24,000 employees throughout all ten UC campuses, their medical centers, research clinics, and laboratories. On Tuesday and Wednesday of the past week, UC patient care technical workers voted with a 96-percent approval rate to authorize AFSCME’s second strike of the year at all UC medical centers.
UC service workers in AFSCME Local 3299, as well as workers in University Professional and Technical Employees and Communications Workers of America (UPTE-CWA), will be joining the UC patient care technical workers in solidarity during the strike. UPTE-CWA is another UC labor union, representing over 13,000 professional, health care, research, and technical UC workers.
In May, the labor union held its first strike in which over 53,000 workers gathered in protest on all UC campuses.
The authorization for the second strike is a result of stagnant negotiations within the last year and a half. The UC Office of the President (UCOP) and AFSCME Local 3299 were unable to come to an agreement regarding pay raises, outsourced labor, and racial disparities among different groups of workers in the UC system.
Before the announcement of a second strike, UCOP stated that union leaders were using the threat of a strike as a scare tactic and that they were prioritizing their agenda over the needs of students, patients, employees, and the public to avoid engaging in constructive negotiation.
In an union press release, AFSCME Local 3299 leadership criticized the UC system for ignoring worker concerns: “UC is eroding the quality of service that we provide to the students, patients, and communities that depend on us,” said Monica De Leon, vice president of AFSCME Local 3299’s Patient Care Technical Unit.
Ella Chen is the News Editor of The Triton. You can follow her @cinder_ellachen.