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AFSCME 3299 Strike May 7-9--UC-AFT Member Rights and Responsibilities

Dear UC-AFT Members,

For over a year, our UC patient care and service worker colleagues have bargained in good faith to address the widening income, racial, and gender disparities created by UC's outsourcing and other unfair employment practices.  These disturbing inequities are documented in the attached research report, "Pioneering Inequality."

Instead of reversing these trends, UC management has only deepened them, leaving our sister UC union AFSCME 3299 no option but to strike.  Action is planned at all UC campuses and medical centers May 7th, 8th, and 9th. This email contains information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to the picket lines and our own contracts.

The picket line will consist of the campus and medical center boundaries, even if picketers are not physically present at a particular location.  The professional, technical, and research workers of UPTE and the nurses of CNA will also be striking in sympathy with AFSCME 3299.

UC-AFT stands in solidarity with AFSCME 3299.  Since our contracts prohibit sympathy strikes, we can’t withhold our labor next week, but we can support our colleagues in a variety of other ways.

We may:

Respect the picket line as long as we do not withhold our labor or interfere with the operations of the university. You can join the picket line or respect it by not coming to campus any time on May 7th, 8th, or 9th that you are not scheduled to teach or perform other duties.

Hold class on the picket line or in another alternate off-campus location, as long as accessibility is assured for all students.

Teach the issues, much as you would any other important current event that you might address in your class: instruct students in what a labor union is, what kind of work AFSCME 3299 members perform to sustain the university and hospitals, how a strike happens and what it means.

Express solidarity with our sisters and brothers of AFSCME 3299.  Tag them in social media posts and use these hashtags: #3299Strong, #inequality, #UCUnionsUnited, #solidarity.

We must:

Abide by the terms of our contract, particularly Article 35 (No Strikes/No Lockouts) and 

Respect the rights of Academic Student Employees (i.e., grad students) represented by UAW 2865, especially if any individual grad student exercises her right to observe the picket line as a matter of individual conscience and free expression, which is permitted by Article 19 of the UAW 2865 contract. 

We may not:

Cancel class.  

Encourage others to cancel class.

Engage in a strike, sympathy strike, stoppage or interruption of work, or other concerted activity that interferes directly or indirectly with university operations.
 

Let us know immediately if you exercise your rights in accordance with our contract and experience any intimidation or retaliation.  It is illegal for an employer to retaliate for communicating about or participating in union activities.

In solidarity,

Mia L. McIver, Ph.D.
Lecturer, UCLA Writing Programs
President, UC-AFT