Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

University Of California Workers Go On Strike Over Pay Inequalities

University Of California Workers Go On Strike Over Pay Inequalities

With workers from the local AFSCME already on the picket line, labor problem at the UC Davi.

Outside UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, dozens of workers waved at honking cars as they marched along sidewalks hoisting pickets that said "safe staffing now". De Leon is a vice president at AFSCME 3299. AFSCME 3299 represents 24,000 workers across the UC system, including medical assistants, respiratory therapists, health care unit workers, custodians and groundskeepers in its service unit. Black workers' wages were 20 percent lower than white workers. The report charted a 37 percent decline by 2015.

In other words, it's the outsourcing, stupid.

"We're fighting for our economic rights", Aguirre said. Today the union held several rallies at UC Berkeley.

"This strike is challenging for us", Sheila Antrum, senior vice president and chief operating officer of UCSF Health, said in a statement.

Eric Gudz, a current candidate for the Davis City Council, said he was participating in solidarity with his "union sisters and brothers".

The strike is scheduled to end on May 9th.

The UC system, which includes five medical centers and three national laboratories, has 190,000 faculty and staff and 238,000 students.

Additionally, employees say they are sick of jobs being outsourced to private contractors. One of those is our food and nutrition services. "Instead of joining us in the effort to arrest these trends, UC has insisted on deepening them - leaving workers no option but to strike". It also criticized union leaders for rejecting UC's counter proposal of 3 percent annually for four years without calling on a member vote.

Almost every union in the UC system is standing in solidarity this week. Together, they visited Anaheim High School on April 27 for a rally with hundreds of students. But patients aren't likely to notice much difference in care. The union says the average salary of a union employee is 40 thousand dollars a year.

A total of three unions are striking. Nurses, surgical technicians, security guards and janitors are among the workers protesting. AFSCME 3299 counted on support from the offices of Democratic elected officials like assemblyman Tom Daly, assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, and state senator Josh Newman. Many are aware of Janus versus AFSCME Council 31, a federal lawsuit now before the U.S. Supreme Court that attempts to undo requirements in 21 states that require all public employees in unionized professions to pay union dues even if they're not part of the bargaining unit. The emergency department and most ambulatory clinics will remain open. "It's honestly a historical day for the UC family", she said.

"We have a lot of contractor workers that come and go", Romero said.

Gabriel San Roman is from Anacrime.

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