AFSCME Cancels Strike Scheduled For This Week

The union’s service workers reached a tentative agreement with the UC system after voting to strike. 

University of California American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 3299, the public service employee union that represents the lowest-paid UC workers, has reached a tentative four-year contract agreement for the UC’s 8,300 service workers. Thus, the following week’s scheduled AFSCME 3299 strike has been canceled.

The UC service workers were able to secure the agreement after two strikes in the last year, with the threat of a third last month. However, although they have secured a tentative agreement, 13,000 UC Patient Care Technical Workers are still bargaining with the UC system. While these UC medical workers have been striking alongside UC service workers, they have yet to receive a response.

“The Patient Care Unit has been engaged in good-faith bargaining for more than 20 months —even longer than service workers — and like service workers, has already given UC 80 percent of what it wants, including the university’s top priority of pension reform,” Kathryn Lybarger, UC service worker and AFSCME 3299 president, said.

Medical workers such as technicians, nursing aides and therapists have yet to settle the contract with the UC system. They were scheduled to sympathy strike with campus workers in the now-canceled strike, but negotiations are expected to resume on Friday.

As a result of this agreement between the UC and service workers, 99 percent of who are income-eligible for some form of public assistance will receive a 13.5-percent board wage increase over four years, affordable health-care benefits for current and retired employees, new staffing protections and limits on contracting out.

Lybarger is optimistic about the agreement, as she believes that it will pull thousands of full-time employees out of poverty and protect workers.

“Our members are deeply grateful to the thousands of students, faculty, colleagues, elected officials and everyday taxpayers who have stood with us and stood for the principles of fairness and dignity that bind every member of the UC community,” Lybarger said.

According to an L.A. Times statement from UC Vice President of Human Resources Dwaine B. Duckett, he was satisfied that the labor standoff was over.

“It is good to have this bargaining wrapped up with a deal on its way to our valued service employees,” Duckett said. “We worked hard to bridge gaps on the issues. Ultimately, both sides chose compromise over conflict.”

 

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