Monday, February 12, 2024

Student-Worker Strike Repercussions - Part 27

Repercussions of the student-worker strike at UC continue. Blog readers may recall that during the strike, campus payroll systems continued paying strikers; apparently, UC in many cases had no way of determining who was on strike. UC-Irvine it seems subsequently required student-workers to report whether they participated in the strike. Grievances were filed regarding these requirements, resulting in the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) decision below:

Decision 2889H – Regents of the University of California (Irvine)


Decision Date: February 9, 2024

Decision Type: PERB Decision (Non-Precedential)

Description:  Charging Parties, five UC Irvine (UCI) employees in two UAW-represented bargaining units, filed grievances alleging that UCI violated the applicable MOU for each bargaining unit by requiring Charging Parties to report their participation (if any) in a strike. UCI refused to process Charging Parties’ grievances because UAW had filed a systemwide grievance regarding the same violations. Charging Parties allege that UCI violated HEERA by refusing to allow them to present grievances through a representative of their own choosing. PERB’s Office of the General Counsel (OGC) dismissed the charge for failure to state a prima facie case.

Disposition:  In a non-precedential decision, the Board reversed and remanded to OGC to issue a complaint. The applicable MOUs permitted Charging Parties to file their own grievances and pursue them via a representative of their own choosing, at all stages prior to arbitration. Therefore, the charge stated a prima facie case that UCI failed or refused to process Charging Parties’ grievances in violation of HEERA’s qualified right to self-representation.


Note that issuing a complaint does not resolve the case, one way or another. It is just the start of a PERB review. Apparently, the OGC initially thought there was no obvious violation of the applicable state labor law, but the Board reversed, setting in motion a more thorough review.

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