If there’s one thing everyone at AFSCME Local 3299 knows almost too well, it’s that benefits and job security can make a huge difference in a worker’s life. We’ve all seen or experienced firsthand how having that safety net from work can alleviate a lot of stress during an emergency.

So it seemed only natural that, once they met every necessary qualification to convert from Per Diem to Career, both Matthew Tyree and Cynthia Candelario, Patient Care workers at UCSD, took that opportunity early this year. Many workers have made this change before them, and they both assumed that going through the conversion process and dealing with paperwork would be the most they had to worry about.

It was a shock to both workers when, on January 22nd, UCSD rejected their applications, claiming that neither of them had met the 1,000 hour work requirement to be eligible for Career positions.

Both Matthew and Cynthia quickly filed grievances, making it clear that they had more than met their time requirement and were being unfairly denied. Throughout the entire process, our Local stood behind them, providing them with the resources they needed to plead their case, including Matthew’s and Cynthia’s own timesheets as undeniable proof.

UCSD Jacob’s Medical Center workers on strike May 2018.

In the end and almost a month later on February 18th, UCSD reversed their decision. While they refused to acknowledge that Matthew and Cynthia did, in fact, meet the hourly requirements, they conceded to the grievance and reversed their decision and converted both workers to Career employees, providing both them and their families with benefits and stability.

“Being a Career worker will make a huge difference for me and my family and how I’m going to take care of them.”said Matthew Tyree, who’s excited that UCSD conceded and is now converting him to a Career position. “I no longer have to worry about things like somebody getting sick or hurt and how I’m going to pay for the hospital bills.”

May is one of the two conversion periods in our Union Contracts during which eligible Per Diem employees can submit a form to become full time Career UC workers. Per Diems should have already received a packet in the mail with information about this next conversion opportunity. If you have questions, please reach out to your Organizer or MAT.