Sunday, November 24, 2019

Post-Strike News: Unsatisfied

You may recall that there was a one-day strike that coincided with the most recent Regents meeting. One of the issues in the labor dispute was outsourcing. The Regents did adopt a resolution saying essentially that any outsourced contracting would have to require equivalent wages and benefits to what UC employees would have received. However, AFSCME - the union involved in the strike - has indicated it is not satisfied with the Regents' action:

From the BruinThe University of California promised to reduce the number of low-wage, outsourced contract workers it employs in a policy adopted Thursday. The UC’s largest employee union remains unsatisfied.

“A ‘policy’ isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on unless it is actually enforced,” read a statement issued the same day by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299.
AFSCME Local 3299 represents over 25,000 University employees, including service workers and patient care technicians.
The UC Board of Regents passed the new policy at its meeting at UC San Francisco a day after AFSCME Local 3299 held a strike to protest what it called the “unfair, unsafe and often illegal” practices the UC engaged in while outsourcing jobs.
UC President Janet Napolitano said in the regent’s meeting Wednesday that the proposed policy limits job outsourcing and fully adheres to California’s state laws and policies on the practice.
“The policy significantly limits the use of outside service contracts to specific, identified circumstances that are fully aligned with the state’s requirements and the California government code,” she said.
Further, in the case that a full-time employee of the UC is displaced by a temporary worker, the policy mandates that the employee be offered a comparable position within a 10-mile radius of their original job, Napolitano said.
AFSCME Local 3299 claims the University’s history with unions makes it clear that the only reliable steps the UC can take to limit outsourcing would have to be through legally binding contracts or state legislation...

Full story at

Whether the contracting out issue will remain a source of strike activity remains to be seen. It could be that given the Regents' action, UC might be willing to put the regental language into its labor agreement since in principle it is now UC policy. In that case, if the union viewed an instance of contracting out as violating the language, it could use the grievance system for enforcement.

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