About 25,000 University of California service and patient care technical workers plan to strike Nov. 13 over the alleged illegal outsourcing of jobs, according to the union that represents them.
The workers are slated to strike at all 10 University of California campuses and five medical centers.
AFSCME Local 3299 issued a strike notice after filing six unfair labor practice charges against the university, it said in a news release. The charges, filed with California’s Public Employment Relations Board, accuse the university of trying to secretly expand outsourcing of service and patient care jobs. The union cited documents recently published by the California Legislature showing the university has increased spending on outsourcing of campus service and patient care jobs by 52 percent since 2016.
“The University of California is unilaterally imposing lower wages, more inequality and more risk of employer abuse against its most vulnerable workers — mostly women and people of color,” said Monica De Leon, AFSCME 3299 member and unit service coordinator at the university’s Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif. “This is not just morally bankrupt, unfair and unsafe for the students and patients who depend on the work we do — it is illegal.”
The union and university have been in contract negotiations for 2½ years.
During negotiations, union leaders “have shown little flexibility on their unreasonable wage demands. They have refused to hold a vote on any one of UC’s many fair proposals. And this strike notice does nothing to give employees the long-overdue agreement and raises they deserve,” university spokesperson Andrew Gordon told Becker’s Hospital Review in an emailed statement.
Mr. Gordon denied the university’s outsourcing would displace union employees and said their contract protects them from displacement or termination due to outsourcing.
The university “will do everything we can to limit the strike’s negative impact,” Mr. Gordon said.