UC workers to strike Thursday over outsourcing of jobs – Daily News

on May16
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Thousands of University of California workers plan to stage a strike Thursday at 10 California campuses and five medical centers throughout the state to protest the school’s outsourcing of jobs.

The employees — which range from custodians and food service workers to nursing aides and respiratory therapists — are represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 3299. They contend UC has repeatedly violated California law with privatization plans that permit the outsourcing of jobs to contracting firms.

Many fear they could lose their jobs.

The strike comes on the heels of an April 10 worker strike and three unfair labor practice charges UC employees filed earlier this month with the Public Employment Relations Board.

“The University of California has bypassed its workers at every turn, refusing to meet and confer about plans to outsource middle-class jobs in California to poverty wage contractors,” AFSCME Local 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger said in a statement. “By cutting workers out of decisions about who will be providing the services that UC patients and students rely on, it’s clear that UC is focused on one thing — paying its lowest-wage workers even less.”

UC spokeswoman Claire Doan disputed that allegation.

“Despite union leaders’ claims about fairness, AFSCME is demanding nearly triple the raises the university has given to other employees,” Doan said via email. “Their push for an 8% annual wage increase would cost this taxpayer-funded university hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of the contract, beyond the significant amount UC has already offered in raises.”

Doan also noted that union leaders rejected UC’s latest proposal, which would provide:

  • Annual 3% across-the-board wage increases for all patient care and service staff for the next four years, consistent with other UC employees
  • A $2,000 lump sum for all eligible employees upon contract ratification
  • A $25 per month cap on increases for Kaiser and Health Net Blue & Gold plans

Locally, UC workers will be picketing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with noon rallies at UCLA Medical Center and UC Irvine Medical Center.

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