Published on January 24th, 2014 | by Zamná Ávila
AFSCME 3299 CALLS STRIKE VOTE
OAKLAND — After more than a year of bargaining, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 3299, the University of California’s largest union, has called for a strike vote amongst its 8,300 service unit members and a sympathy strike vote amongst its 13,000 Patient Care Technical Unit members, for Feb. 11 through 13.
The strike vote comes more than two months after UC agreed to restart bargaining, which had previously broken down after former UC President Mark Yudof unilaterally imposed contract terms that included pay cuts on AFSCME 3299 members in September.
In making the announcement, AFSCME 3299 has also released a new web video highlighting the troubling double standard that UC has employed during contract negotiations.
Of the roughly 40 unsettled contract articles at the outset of negotiations, AFSCME 3299 has now conceded to UC’s position on more than thirty 30. This includes an agreement on UC’s stated priority of pension reform, which will require substantially higher employee contributions for AFSCME 3299 members.
The biggest of the remaining points of disagreement include staffing and wages.
Throughout negotiations, AFSCME 3299’s top priority has been safe staffing standards which are needed to address the huge spike in workplace injuries amongst UC Service Workers and the growing numbers of fines against UC hospitals for patient safety deficiencies.
While UC has already granted safe staffing standards to its nurses, it is refusing to make similar accommodations for the hospital and campus workers represented by AFSCME 3299.
On wages, though AFSCME represents the lowest paid workers at UC–99 percent of whom are income eligible for some form of public assistance–UC continues to propose that AFSCME workers accept second class treatment. Specifically, it has offered AFSCME represented workers less than half the wage increase it recently granted nurses, and substantially less than UC has already granted its highest paid executives, other non-represented employees, University Professional Technical Employees, Police Officers, Clerical Workers, and Lecturers and Librarians.