FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 2, 2018
CONTACT: JOHN DE LOS ANGELES | [email protected] | 650-438-1961
(OAKLAND, CA) – – In an attempt to circumvent and subvert the collective bargaining process required by state law for the second time this year, the University of California (UC) announced imposed contract terms late Monday for more than 15,000 of UC’s Patient Care Technical workers. The announcement comes just days after AFSCME-represented UC workers announced their intention to vote on whether to strike.
In response to the maneuver, AFSCME Local 3299 Patient Care Technical Unit Vice President Monica De Leon issued the following statement:
“While the University of California’s decision to once again subvert the collective bargaining process is disappointing, it’s hardly a surprise. The facts speak volumes about their values and their intentions.
“On the one hand, UC is forcing provisions on workers that would raise healthcare premiums, lift the retirement age, flatten employee wages, and accelerate the outsourcing of jobs for thousands of frontline workers. On the other hand, the University is lining the pockets of its top brass with excessive salaries, lavish perks, and secret slush funds.
“The reality is that this dynamic is fueling worsening patterns of growing income, racial and gender inequality. And, UC’s latest actions represent an assault not just on the collective bargaining process and the frontline workers that make the UC system run every day, but on the values that this institution is supposed to represent.”
Last May, UC’s Patient Care Technical workers joined Service workers who similarly voted to strike over the University’s practice of outsourcing jobs to independent contracting companies. In all, 53,000 UC workers joined the strike after research revealed that the practice is driving alarming trends of income, racial, and gender inequalities within the University’s workforce.
Over the years, outsourcing at UC has become just as much of a problem for Patient Care Technical workers as it’s been for Service workers. In fact, data shows that the staffing ratio at UC San Francisco has been as high as 1 outsourced contractor to every 6 directly employed workers. Other medical centers like UC Davis have even gone so far as to deny outsourced contract workers career Patient Care Technical Unit positions when they apply, despite the fact that the “temporary” terms of their contracts have been extended multiple years, in some cases. UC workers say that the practice has the effect of taking jobs that once paid living wages with full benefits and turning them into low-wage contractor positions with few benefits and a higher risk of abuse.
UC’s Patient Care Technical Unit will be voting on October 9th and 10th to authorize a strike while its Service Unit workers will be voting on whether to join a strike in solidarity.