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UPTE and AFSCME Strike March 20, 2019--UC-AFT Picket Line Guidance

Dear UC-AFT Members,

For well over a year, 14,000 of our UC technical and research colleagues have bargained in good faith for working conditions that are safe, equitable, and conducive to recruitment and retention.  Represented by UPTE-CWA 9119, our co-workers are fighting for a UC for the many, not the few.  As they have done with UC-AFT librarians, UC management has unnecessarily drawn out and delayed the bargaining process.  Their executives and lawyers are refusing to pay UPTE wages and overtime they acknowledge they can afford and are threatening the integrity of our pensions.

On Wednesday, March 20th, UC technical and research workers will conduct a one-day strike.  The 24,000 service and patient care workers of AFSCME 3299, who have been bargaining with UC management for two years to protect middle class jobs and reduce racial and gender pay gaps at the UC, will strike in solidarity.

UC-AFT also stands in solidarity with UPTE-CWA 9119 and AFSCME 3299, and we encourage our members to demonstrate support for our sister UC unions.  UC-AFT President Mia McIver will be on the picket line at UCLA along with Bernie Sanders.  Please read the following guidance carefully. If you have any questions about your bargaining unit or your rights, get in touch with a UC-AFT representative before the strike date.

Rights and Responsibilities for UC-AFT Librarians
UC-AFT librarians have been working without a contract for nearly six months.  The no-strikes clause from our expired contract is no longer in effect.  For more details about our bargaining campaign, be sure to read the latest update on the UC-AFT Librarians blog.

We strongly encourage you to express dissatisfaction with management’s obstructionism of our fellow union members, act on your conscience, and respect our co-workers’ action on March 20th. You may work from home with the authorization of your supervisor, or you may refrain from working at all (although there is no guarantee that you will be paid for the day).  We encourage you to join the picket lines on your own time whenever possible. We have not called a sympathy strike, so actions you take on March 20th must be in support of UPTE and AFSCME and not connected to our own negotiations. 

If you are asked by a supervisor about your intent to strike on Wednesday, March 20th, you do not need to answer.  Your decisions and actions are legally protected, and retaliation for union activities is illegal.  If you suspect that you are being coerced or retaliated against in any way, including for picketing on your own time, please immediately inform a UC-AFT representative.

Rights and Responsibilities for UC-AFT Faculty
Our UC-AFT faculty contract has a no-strikes clause in effect at this time. This clause prohibits UC-AFT faculty from withholding our labor during the strike, but you can support your colleagues in a variety of other ways.

You may:
Respect our co-workers’ action as long as you do not withhold our labor or interfere with the operations of the university. You can join the picket line on your own timeor refrain from coming to campus any time on March 20th that you are not scheduled to teach, administer an exam, 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 UPTE and AFSCME members perform to sustain our university and our hospitals, how a strike happens, and what it means.

Exercise your first amendment rights to free speech by wearing union button and t-shirts, expressing opinions about the strike, and discussing your own union membership.

Express solidarity with our sisters and brothers of UPTE and AFSCME. Tag @uptecwa and @AFSCMELocal3299 in social media posts and use these hashtags:, #UCfortheMany, #UCUnionsUnited, #solidarity.

You 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 an 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

You may not:
Cancel class or exams.  

Encourage others to cancel class or exams.

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