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AFSCME 3299 Exposes UC’s Double Standard on Wages, Staffing

After the University of California’s largest union publicly criticized UC’s second class treatment of its lowest paid employees and announced a strike vote at last week’s Regents meeting, UC Administrators returned to the bargaining table with new wage and staffing proposals for AFSCME represented Service Workers.

The two sides have been bargaining for more than a year, with AFSCME 3299 already conceding to UC’s position on roughly 75% of all contract issues and agreeing to UC’s top priority of pension reform. Despite these concessions, skyrocketing injury rates [1] and the fact that 99% of these employees already qualify for some form of public assistance, UC has failed to grant AFSCME represented Service workers the same staffing safeguards and fair wage increases it has granted to other UC employees. Instead, UC unilaterally imposed contract terms with wage cuts back in September. 2

Many of these issues were featured in a new web video and white paper released by AFSCME 3299 last week.

“UC’s newest wage and staffing proposals are a welcome sign, but they still fall far short of what they’ve granted to other UC workers and perpetuate an ever widening income gap at California’s premier public university,” said AFSCME 3299 President and UC Service Worker Kathryn Lybarger. “Now that UC has finally acknowledged its second class treatment of our members, we are hopeful that its negotiating team will work to reach a settlement by addressing the inequities at the heart of this dispute.”

Including UC’s most recent proposals, the specific staffing and wage issues that remain in dispute have been detailed in the tables below.

Table 1: Staffing

ISSUE AFSCME’s Proposal UC’s Response Proposal
Already Granted to other UC workers
Staffing Committee Provide for third party dispute resolution Reject any third party dispute resolution Yes
Missed Breaks Pay additional 15 minutes for missed rest and meal breaks (state law is 1 additional hour of pay for missed breaks) When employees misses a break, they will get a break later in the shift only if supervisor gives approval Yes
Contracting Out No contracting out of bargaining unit work, except to obtain special expertise and equipment Rejects AFSCME proposal, increasingly eroding bargaining unit through subcontracting. UC has never threatened to contract out work for some other bargaining units.
Temporary Workers Convert temps into career employees  when they work 1000 hours in a 12-month period Want a long list of criteria designed to prevent conversion Some temps in other units granted rights.

Table 2: Wages
On August 21, 2013, Neutral Fact Finder Paul J. Roose (PERB Case No: SF-IM-2997-H) recommended that UC offer AFSCME represented Service Unit Members a 3% Across the Board (ATB) Wage Increase for each year of a four year contract. 3

UC’s Wage Offer Avg. Annual Across the Board
Wage Increases,
2013 to 2016 4
Registered Nurses (CNA) 4%
Lecturers (AFT) (2013 only) 3.50%
Technical and Research (UPTE) 3.25%
UC Police Officers (FUPOA) 3%
Patient Care (AFSCME) 1.88%
Service (AFSCME) 1.88%

Despite this recommendation, and even though AFSCME has agreed to UC priorities that shift substantial new cost burdens on service unit employees (Including higher parking rates and Pension contributions)–UC is offering AFSCME workers less than 2% in across the across the board (ATB) wage increases. This is considerably less than it granted to other UC workers settling contracts last year—workers who serve the same patients and same students in the same facilities.

[1] U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Health & Safety Administration, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, OSHA ‘s Form 300s for years 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012.

[2] Larry Gordon, “UC imposes pension terms on employees; union protests,” The Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2013,0,2369558.story#ixzz2r3d655QZ; Cory Golden, “UC imposes new contract terms on service workers,” The Davis Enterprise, September 26, 2013,

[3] Fact Finding Between the University of California and AFSCME Local 3299, California Public Employment Relations Board Case No: SF-IM-2997-H, August 21, 2013,  

[4] UC RNs will receive a 4% increase for each of the next four years.; UPTE Research and Technical Employees will receive a 4% increase this year, and a 3% increase in each of the following three years.   UC Police Officers will receive a 3% increase for each of the next four years.; UC Lecturers received a 3.5% increase for 2013.