FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 6, 2019
STATEWIDE CONTACT: JOHN DE LOS ANGELES | email@example.com | 650-438-1961
(OAKLAND, CA) – Citing repeated violations of California law in the University of California’s efforts to outsource thousands of frontline jobs, the UC’s Service and Patient Care workers have notified University administrators of their intention to mount a single-day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike on May 16th. The notice follows three ULP charges filed against UC last week that outline the scope of a radical privatization scheme that could fundamentally change the University of California’s relationship with its workers.
“The University of California has bypassed its workers at every turn, refusing to meet and confer about plans to outsource some of the last middle-class jobs in California to poverty wage contractors,” said AFSCME Local 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger. “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.”
At UC Davis, for example, UC administrators are refusing to bargain over plans to outsource ongoing work at a joint venture of its own creation: a new UC Davis Rehabilitation Hospital that UC will own and operate with the private-equity company Kindred Healthcare. Rather than arranging for UC’s current Patient Care workers to operate the new site, UC plans to eliminate those UC jobs and insists that workers should lose their employment benefits and reapply to work at the new facility.
The latest Unfair Labor Practice charges come after years of scandal around the University’s practice of outsourcing that have prompted public concern about the deepening of income inequality at UC, the state’s third largest employer. The latest charges also come after a pattern of serial law breaking by UC, which includes the use of illegal intimidation tactics.
“The UC has the potential to be an engine of equality and economic opportunity for California and the nation,” added Lybarger. “Unfortunately, UC administrators have opted for a publicly financed race to the bottom, which will come at the expense of patients, students, families, and our communities.”
Service and Patient Care workers’ Unfair Labor Practice strike will take place at UC’s ten campuses and five medical centers, where they will be joined by AFSCME-represented Skilled Crafts workers at UC Santa Cruz and University Professional and Technical workers represented by UPTE-CWA. Details such as picket times and locations will be released at a later date.