UC Davis

UC’s largest union prepares to strike

By From page A4 | November 19, 2013

The state Public Employment Relations Board was set to seek a temporary restraining order on Tuesday morning that would limit the number of University of California medical center employees who can take part in a planned strike on Wednesday.

The board’s request will focus on employees working in critical health and safety roles.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 represents patient-care, custodial and food service workers. At 22,000 members, it is UC’s largest union.

AFSCME members voted to strike following a formal complaint from the labor board documenting instances of threats and coercion against workers before and during a strike by patient-care and service workers in May.

Before that walkout, UC secured an injunction that barred critical patient care technical staff from striking.

After months of failed negotiations, UC has imposed its final contract offer on AFSCME-represented workers.

The union says UC has yet to offer “substantive proposals” on hospital staffing levels or a wage proposal similar to those the university has reached with other represented employees. The administration blamed the impasse on AFSCME’s refusal to accept a new pension and retiree health benefits program.

The California Nurses Association had planned to strike on Wednesday, as well, before reaching a tentative deal with UC on Saturday. The proposed four-year contract covers 11,700 medical center and student health facility nurses.

It includes 4 percent salary increases each January for the next four years, plus step increases each July through 2017.

The nurses also agreed to take part in a modified version of UC’s new pension tier — contributing 8 percent of pay starting in January, then 9 percent starting in July 2013 — and a no-strike clause good for the length of the contract.

On Friday, UC announced that about 350 librarians represented by the American Federation of Teachers had ratified a new five-year contract. It includes a new salary scale with wage adjustments averaging 2.7 percent and new language clarifying when a temporary employee becomes a career librarian.

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
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