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UC Regents agree to union demands

Strikes can turn into long, drawn-out affairs where causing collateral damage is more common than addressing the actual issues in the dispute. Thus, it was refreshing to see the University of California Board of Regent’s swift response to a 26,000 UC Service and Patient Care workers, who launched an unfair labor practice strike on November 13, 2019. This was the third one-day strike in a year where the union alleged that there was illegal outsourcing of UC jobs to contractors.

The Board of Regents adopted y one day after the strike. The details include:

  • UC promises to insource more jobs
  • The contract workers will receive equal pay to UC employees doing similar work
  • UC will essentially prohibit outsourcing

The devil is in the details

The AFSCME Local 3299 representing the workers then issued a statement. In part, it applauded the policy change after years of workers lodging complaints about the “unfair, unsafe and often illegal outsourcing of thousands of UC jobs.” The statement goes on to detail the UC’s outsourcing practices and attempts to circumvent laws and governmental oversight

Committed to getting it done

Regent Richard Leib commented on the policy at a Governance Committee meeting. He predicted that UC (the state’s third-largest employer) would have some difficulty implementing this new policy. However, Leib did point out that these policy changes better reflect the values of UC and those who work for it. “This is the right thing to do,” he added.

Attorneys will no doubt be a part of the solution to the complex issue in an extensive educational system. There will likely need to be additional policy shifts to accommodate the insourcing, but it can get done if the two sides commit to working together.

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