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AFSCME and UPTE Strike October 23-25--UC-AFT Rights and Responsibilities


Dear UC-AFT Members,

For well 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." AFSCME's Patient Care unit is now fighting for fair wages, affordable healthcare and secure retirements and against elimination of step increases, pension erosion through the 401k opt-out and dramatic healthcare cost increases.  Details available in this printable flyer.

UC management has imposed a last, best and final offer, leaving AFSCME's Patient Care Unit no option but to strike for economic reasons. AFSCME's Service Unit and UPTE-CWA members will strike in sympathy. Action is planned at all UC campuses and medical centers October 23, 24 and 25. The picket line will consist of the campus and medical center boundaries, even if picketers are not physically present at a particular location. See flyer above for picket location details on every campus.

UC-AFT stands in solidarity with AFSCME 3299 and UPTE and we encourage our members to demonstrate solidarity with our sister UC unions. UC-AFT has two contracts on the main UC campuses: Unit 18 non-Senate faculty (lecturers) and Unit 17 librarians. The librarian contract is currently expired, which means we have separate guidance for these two bargaining units.  Please read carefully and if you have any questions about your bargaining unit or your rights, get in touch with a UC-AFT representative before the strike dates.

Rights and Responsibilities for Unit 17 Librarians
Our Unit 17 Librarian contract expired on September 30, 2018. Librarians are currently in negotiations, but the no strikes clause expired with the contract. This means that librarians are not barred by the contract from honoring the AFSCME picket line and participating in a sympathy strike with AFSCME and UPTE workers. UC-AFT is not organizing a sympathy strike by Unit 17 members, but we are encouraging individuals to act on their conscience and to join with other librarians on the picket lines throughout the strike when you are able. 

If you are asked by a supervisor about your intention to strike, you do not need to answer.  If you suspect that that you are being coerced or retaliated against in any way regarding strike participation, including picketing on your own time, please immediately inform a UC-AFT representative.

Rights and Responsibilities for Unit 18 Non-Senate Faculty (lecturers)
Our non-Senate faculty Unit 18 contract has a no strikes clause in effect at this time. This clause prohibits lecturers and other Unit 18 members from withholding our labor during the strike, 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 October 23, 24 or 25 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 and UPTE 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 Unit 18 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