UC Berkeley News
Web Feature

UC Berkeley Web Feature

AFSCME strikers outside MLK Student Center AFSCME strikers on the picket line Tuesday morning in front of Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union. (Wendy Edelstein/UC Berkeley photo)

Strike at UC campuses enters second day

– Hundreds of picketers returned to University of California campuses today (Tuesday, July 15) for the second day of a strike over wages and benefits for union service and patient care workers.

Related information
• Message to students on responding to impending strike activity on campus

The planned five-day walkout comes amid contract negotiations between UC and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union (AFSCME), Local 3299, which represents nearly 20,000 custodians, food service workers, bus drivers, groundskeepers, parking attendants and patient care technicians at the ten UC campuses and medical centers.

Once again at UC Berkeley, union members and sympathizers have set up picket lines at various campus locations. At noon, about 125 picketers marched peacefully to the chancellor's residence at University House. About 300 employees did not report to work, yet it is unknown how many of them were participating in the strike.

Shuttle bus service to campus perimeter destinations, such as the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has resumed on a limited basis, and there are minor disruptions to trash pickup and construction. Custodial and dining services are being covered by non-striking workers and scheduled classes are running as normal.

Last Friday, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Patrick Mahoney issued a temporary restraining order at the request of the Public Employment Relations Board, which issued a complaint against AFSCME for bad-faith bargaining, failing to give adequate notice of a planned strike, and for encouraging employees to participate in a strike against UC facilities even though their absence from work would clearly endanger the public's safety, particularly at the medical centers.

Despite the judge's order, AFSCME leaders went forward with the job action, which is expected to last through Friday. The UC Office of the President has said that union members who strike are not authorized to be absent and may be subject to disciplinary action.